In many States, a wrongful death claim includes what is known as a “survival action.” Florida’s approach to a survival action is rather unique. Accordingly, how a survival claim functions and damages available are different from a wrongful death claim.
Florida Survival Action is Often Misunderstood
Under Florida law, a survival action is a personal injury claim continuing after an injured party’s death. This claim type is different from a wrongful death claim. Accordingly, a survival claim does not link someone’s death to an injury for damages sought. Instead, in a wrongful death action, a claim is based on injuries causing death.
How a Survival Action Works in Florida
An example may help illustrate the difference between the two types of lawsuits. The victim is a 55 year married woman and mother of 2 teenage children. She suffers from incurable cancer. This woman is in a car crash, from which she suffers horrendous injuries. Let’s say her injuries include a spinal cord injury rendering her paralyzed. The victim lives but with all the problems and limits of a quadriplegia victim.
The victim lives for two more years after the auto accident enduring those injuries. She dies, however, from cancer. Doctors confirm that her death is not related to the paralysis. In this example, the paralysis injury did not cause the woman’s death, but she lived her final two years restricted and unable to enjoy her family as she once did.
The Estate Files A Wrongful Death Claim and Survival Action
The estate’s Personal Representative files a survival action against the driver and owner of the of the vehicle for causing the victim’s injuries. This claim seeks damages for medical bills, therapy bills, and pain and suffering during those two years of her life.
Unlike many States, Florida does not allow the decedent’s survivors to receive damages for both wrongful death and survival. Rather, where the decedent lives for months post-accident until death, there are two potential claims. You may pursue both claims at the same time, but you may recovery only one type of damages.
Whether a survival action or wrongful death action is appropriate really depends on the compelling nature of the facts for each claim. However, a case may be more factually appropriate for either a survival action or wrongful death action.
Fort Myers Injury Lawyer Pursues Survival Action Lawsuit for Family Members
Your loved one’s death is a tragic event, and moving forward can last a lifetime. When a person or corporation was careless and killed your loved one, or injured your family member so he or she spent the last precious moments of life in pain and anguish, then a survival action to hold those parties accountable may be your pursuit of justice.
Knowing you, your values, and your needs, Fort Myers injury lawyer David Harris seeks the legal course which offers the most compensation under the circumstances. When there is a delay between the accident which caused injury and then death, he often prosecutes both claims until we have to elect which one to give the jury.
Making sure that you have all the facts and evidence to provide the strongest survival action claim for full compensation is David’s approach for each client. You receive a free consultation, and there is no obligation. Importantly, there is no fee if there is no recovery. Contact David today.