Fierstadt & Mans
Local 626-381-9431
Toll Free 877-297-7085

Seeking Compensation for the Death of a Loved One: Survival Actions v. Wrongful Death Actions

It is important to know your rights when a loved one has died as a result of the negligence of another. Under California law, two types of lawsuits may be brought against the person responsible for your loved one's death. The first type of lawsuit is a "survival action" which is governed by California Code of Civil Procedure §377.30. The second type of lawsuit is a "wrongful death" lawsuit governed by California Code of Civil Procedure §377.60.

The main difference between the two types of lawsuits is that each type seeks compensation for a different set of injuries or damage. The wrongful death suit seeks compensation for damages experienced personally by a family member of the deceased, whereas the survival action seeks compensation for damages suffered by the deceased family member prior to his or her death. California law only allows a wrongful death action to be file by 1) the personal representative of the deceased's estate or 2) by the decedent's surviving spouse, children or other dependent family members. The common types of damage for which family members can seek compensation include, loss of support, loss of services, funeral and burial expenses, loss of companionship and sexual cohabitation. However, punitive damages are not recoverable under the wrongful death statute.

California law allows a survival action to be filed by 1) the estate's personal representative or 2) if no personal representative is appointed, by the decedent's successor-in-interest. This type of suit may only be brought if the decedent did not immediately die from his or her injuries. The deceased need only live for a short time between the accident and his or her death to allow this cause of action. In a survival action the deceased's personal representative takes the palace of the deceased and brings suit on his or her behalf. The damages that are recoverable are those that the deceased person would have been entitled to had they lived, including medical expenses and lost wages, and punitive damages. However, compensation for pain and suffering is not recoverable in this type of action.

Even though money can never bring back a lost loved one it may often ease the financial burdens on a family and offer a sense of closure. When a loved one has been seriously injured or killed due to the fault of another party, it is crucial to get legal representation that can provide the personal attention and caring service you deserve, while getting the results that you need. At Fierstadt & Mans, LLP we have a history of successfully representing plaintiffs in wrongful death and survival actions. To learn more about how we can assist you please contact our office at (626) 449-7379.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information