Losing the life of a loved one is heartbreaking. It may be even more painful
when that loved one’s death resulted from the intentional or
negligent actions of another. Surviving family members may possess complicated feelings
about whether or not to initiate a lawsuit. After all, no amount of money
can bring back that loved one. However, families may face medical and
funeral expenses, loss of income, and other financial challenges. Pursuing
legal claims for the death of a loved one may be the only means of recovering
for needed losses.
In many cases, a loved one may possess claims against another that he or
she was not able to pursue before passing on. In such instances, a representative
of the deceased may have the legal right to continue such legal claims
and receive compensation.
What is a Survival Action?
Georgia law, a survival action is an extension of a legal claim associated with a
deceased person. A survival action seeks damages for loss experienced
by the deceased during the accident that led to his or her death. The
damages may include compensation for medical bills, funeral expenses,
pain and suffering, or other financial losses. In short, a survival action
is a lawsuit that the deceased person could have brought if he or she
were still living.
Who Can Bring a Survival Action?
A representative of the deceased person’s estate may file a survival
action in Georgia. The representative may include an executor, an administrator,
or a personal representative. In many situations, this representative
may include a member of the deceased person’s family.
How Does a Survival Action Differ from a Wrongful Death Claim?
Family members of the deceased who assert a wrongful death claim have their
own individual right to receive compensation for the loss of their loved
one. Thus, in a wrongful death action, family members may recover compensation
for economic losses–such as lost income and benefits–as well
as other less tangible losses, such as a loss of companionship and affection.
In a survival action, however, the representative of the deceased person’s
estate sues for losses that belong to the deceased person, as opposed
to family members. Thus, in a survival action, the family members of the
deceased do not directly receive compensation. However, damage awards
are given to the estate of the deceased and distributed to his or heirs,
which often include family members and others.
Deciding Whether to Bring a Survival Action
If you have suffered the loss of a loved one, you may file a wrongful death
claim, a survival claim, or both in Georgia. Determining which type of
claim to file will depend on your circumstances and the circumstances
of your loved one’s death. A skilled wrongful death attorney can
provide answers and insight to the types of claims you should pursue.
Getting Legal Help After the Loss of Your Loved One
If the intentional or negligent actions of another has caused the death
of your loved one, you should
contact a wrongful death attorney immediately. An experienced wrongful death attorney
can review the facts of your case and determine whether you have a viable
claim. If so, they can help you seek the compensation you deserve.