Survival actions share many characteristics with wrongful death lawsuits. Both are filed by the survivors or personal representatives of the deceased. However, a survival action is more appropriate when the decedent is severely injured but does not die immediately, only later succumbing to their injuries.

We represent the survivors of deceased accident victims in Los Angeles to recover the largest available damages awards in both wrongful death lawsuits and survivor actions. Call us to speak with a Los Angeles wrongful death attorney if you have lost a loved one in an accident or in the aftermath of an accident. We can help answer questions about the damages you may be entitled to recover after the passing of a loved one due to the negligence or intentional behavior of another.

What are the Essential Elements of a Survival Action?

In California, a survival action allows the family of the deceased to pursue the same kind of lawsuit against a negligent party as the deceased would have been able to pursue had they survived their injuries. They are able to sue the negligent party on the victim’s behalf to recover the damages that the victim or decedent would have been entitled to claim. Thus, a survival action considers a victim’s losses and not just the losses suffered by the victim’s family. 

What Damages Can Be Recovered in a Survival Action?

The actual amount of damages will depend on the specific facts of each case. In wrongful death lawsuits, the family seeks to recover compensation for their losses that are associated with a loved one’s death, including funeral expenses, any medical costs they incurred before the victim passed away, and the value of the victim’s lost wages and income opportunities.

The relevant statute in California allows the victim’s family to recover the damages incurred when the victim did not die immediately after sustaining injuries, including:

The deceased’s representative cannot recover damages for pain, suffering, or disfigurement in a survival action. Further, the deceased’s family cannot recover punitive damages in a wrongful death lawsuit, but those damages are recoverable in survival actions.

Thus, knowing which claims to make and which actions to file is a critical element in maximizing the damages award that a decedent’s personal representative and family might receive. 

Because survival actions are frequently filed by the deceased’s estate, it is imperative that the family open the estate to probate for appointment and confirmation of a personal representative as soon as is possible after the death. Delays in the probate process can interfere with the prosecution of a survival action.

Contact the Salamati Law Firm for More Information on Filing and Pursuing Survival Actions on Behalf of Accident Victims

The death of a beloved family member is a devastating event under any circumstances. We are committed to helping families recover from the trauma of an accidental death with damages that can be recovered through wrongful death and survival actions. 

Please see our website or call our offices for a complimentary consultation with one of our skilled Los Angeles wrongful death attorneys about your right to pursue damages and the damages suffered by an accident victim as a result of another person’s negligence. We will review the circumstances of your case and provide fair and objective recommendations on how you can proceed to claim the compensation you and your family deserve.