Survival Action vs Wrongful Death Claim After a St. Louis Car Accident

by Christopher Hoffmann on Dec. 16, 2021

Accident & Injury Accident & Injury  Car Accident Accident & Injury  Personal Injury 

Summary: Let's take a closer look at survival action and wrongful death to help you learn the difference between them.


After losing a family member in a St. Louis car accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may file either a wrongful death claim or a survival action. While the two terms are often used synonymously, there are some differences. Let's take a closer look at survival action and wrongful death to help you learn the difference between them.


What Is a Wrongful Death Claim?


A wrongful death claim is a civil lawsuit meant to seek financial compensation for the losses related to the death of a loved one. Generally, only the deceased surviving relative can file a wrongful death claim. This includes the deceased person’s spouse, biological or adoptive children, biological or adoptive parents, or siblings.



What Is a Survival Action?


A survival action refers to the lawsuit the departed would have brought against a negligent party had they not died. This claim is made jointly with a wrongful death claim to recover damages sustained by the deceased between the time of their injury and their death.


Unlike in a wrongful death claim filed by the deceased person’s relative, a survival action is generally filed by a personal estate representative.



More Differences Between These Two Actions


1. The Claimant


You can generally file for a wrongful death claim if you are a surviving deceased family member. In contrast, a personal representative to the deceased person’s estate pursues a survival action.


2. Type of Damages


In a wrongful death claim, if you can prove that your loved one’s life was cut short due to someone’s negligence, you may be entitled to recover losses such as:

- Lost financial support or upkeep provided by your loved one

- Incurred medical expenses, funeral and burial expenses

- Loss of parental or spousal companionship

- Loss of future earnings

- Other intangible losses such as loss of consortium



In a survival action claim, you may receive compensation for the deceased losses before their death. This includes things like:

- Accident-related medical expenses incurred by the deceased before they passed away.

- Accident-related pain and suffering and emotional harm the deceased experienced.



Taking Action on Behalf of Your Loved One


A family member’s death can cause significant pain and irreplaceable losses. It can also leave you confused and unsure of how to proceed. It would help to have a compassionate and knowledgeable car accident attorney by your side when seeking justice. An experienced attorney can help you file the respective lawsuit, help you understand your rights, and negotiate a settlement that will benefit your family.


Contact a St. Louis Car Accident Attorney


Pursuing a wrongful death or survival action claim alone can be overwhelming. Fortunately, an experienced attorney can help you with the legal matters surrounding your case.

If you have lost a loved one in an accident, the St. Louis car accident lawyers at The Hoffmann Law Firm are here to help. Give us a call 24/7 at (314) 361-4242 for a free case evaluation to learn more about your legal rights.

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