In a survival claim, someone is bringing the claim of the actual decedent for the damages they suffered from the date of the injury through the date of their death. It is the decedent’s own claim for their pain and suffering prior to their passing whereas in a wrongful death claim, it is the claim of the survivors for the loss associated with the passing of their loved one.
If you want to know more about survival actions in West Palm Beach or want to pursue a survival claim on behalf of a loved one, consult a qualified wrongful death attorney that could help ensure a positive outcome for you and your loved one.
Survival Actions in West Palm Beach Explained
A survival action is separate and apart from the cause of death. A wrongful death claim is a claim by survivors for the loss of a loved one. A survival action is a claim in which the claimant ultimately dies but not as a result of the underlying negligence claim.
For example, in a survival action, somebody can be involved in a car accident and have suffered three years of pain, treatment, and loss of wages, but then has a heart attack completely unrelated to the auto accident that results in their death.
Survival actions are not as common as other types of claims. Usually, unless an attorney is representing somebody who is elderly or somebody who is otherwise unhealthy, the person survives from the date of the injury through the date of the attorney’s conclusion of the claim. When somebody passes away due to an unrelated circumstance, it changes the damages that the person otherwise would have been entitled to
Representative of a Person’s Estate if They Did Not Have a Will
The representative of a decedent’s estate depends on the people that survived the decedent. If the decedent was married, normally, assuming that the surviving spouse has the mental capacity to do so, the surviving spouse becomes the personal representative of the estate.
There may be situations in which the personal representative has been a parent if the decedent was younger. There also may be situations in which the personal representative has been a sibling. But if the person dies without a will and there’s a surviving spouse, more times than not, the personal representative is the surviving spouse.
Survival Action Process
Normally, in survival actions in West Palm Beach, the lawyer is involved before the decedent passes away and would be handling the claim just as they would handle any other similar type of claim for damages.
For example, if the lawyer is dealing with an underlying auto accident, they would be investigating and handling the claim just as they would any other auto accident. And then once the individual passes away, there are certain steps that may need to be taken but the claim is, by and large, handled the same way as the underlying action would have been handled.
Types of Damages in Survival Actions
The damages in survival actions in West Palm Beach would be those that the decedent incurred from the time of injury up through the date of death. For example, someone would be entitled to past lost wages, past medical expenses, and past pain and suffering, which would be the non-economic component and which constitute the loss of capacity to enjoy life for that period of time.
Now, because the death was not caused by the underlying incident; someone would not necessarily be entitled to future damages because the death put a stop to those damages that would have been related to the underlying injury for which they were making a claim.
Common Medical Bills that Accompany Survival Actions
The medical bills that accompany survival actions in West Palm Beach are bills that are incurred from the date of the injury through the date that the person passed away, assuming they were still treated for their injuries. If the person never passed away, the at-fault party, assuming one can prove liability, would be responsible for those damages and medical bills. Just because somebody passes away due to an unrelated cause does not mean that the person who caused the need for that initial treatment is not responsible. Therefore, someone would be entitled to claim recovery for the medical bills incurred from the date of loss through the date of death, assuming they can prove those bills were associated with the underlying incident.
Evidence Used to Calculate Damages
In a survival action, the issue is calculating the pain and suffering that the person experienced from the time of the injury through the time of their death. While it may be very difficult to calculate, an attorney would speak with those people who were close with the decedent, who can testify as to their level of pain and suffer from the time of their loss through the time of their death.
If a person is dealing with past lost wages and past medical bills, they would accumulate all of those medical expenses that were incurred by the decedent from the time of the loss through the date of death. For lost wages, if the person was unable to work up until the time of death, the lawyer would go back to the person’s tax returns and calculate how much that person lost in wages.
In terms of pain and suffering, again, that is more subjective and an attorney could make a recommendation based on experience and research regarding what other juries have awarded for pain and suffering related to any particular type of injury.
Value of a West Palm Beach Lawyer
Attorneys can provide a certain level of comfort in these types of claims, whether a survival action or a wrongful death action, because, assuming they have got the requisite experience, they have been there, they have been through the process, and they have helped other families through similar tragedies.
Knowing what to do and when to do it during this process is a huge comfort to families that are experiencing something this tragic for the first time. If you want to know more about survival actions in West Palm Beach or want to pursue an action, consult a compassionate attorney that can advocate for you.