When a person dies due to the negligence or recklessness of another, it’s difficult to process what happened and figure out what steps to take. In California, two types of legal claims may arise from such a situation: survival actions and wrongful death suits. Both are civil lawsuits that seek monetary damages for the decedent’s beneficiaries, but there are important distinctions between them. To determine the best course of action, you should always seek legal advice. Contact Rodriguez & Associates to schedule a free consultation.
What Is a Wrongful Death Action?
A wrongful death action is a civil claim for those who were left behind after the death of their loved ones. It allows them to recover compensation for the losses they experienced from their loved one’s death. These damages most often include compensation for funeral and burial costs, loss of financial support and benefits, and loss of companionship.
This type of suit may be brought against an individual or entity whose negligent or reckless conduct resulted in someone’s death—such as a driver who failed to follow traffic laws and caused a fatal accident.
This type of legal claim can be filed by a spouse, child, or other dependent family members, or by the personal representative of the decedent’s estate. A wrongful death lawyer can help walk you through this process.
What Is a Survival Action?
A survival action is slightly different from a wrongful death action in that it seeks damages on behalf of the deceased person. This kind of lawsuit aims to recover damages that the decedent would have been able to claim had they survived.
Common types of compensation recovered in a survival action include damages for medical expenses incurred before death, lost wages, and property damage. Pain and suffering damages are not recoverable in a survival action. In some cases, punitive damages may be sought in a survival action.
A survival action is filed by the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate.
Statute of Limitations For Wrongful Death and Survival Action Claims in Fresno
The statute of limitations for wrongful death claims is two years from the date of death. In some cases, the deadline can be longer. For example, if family members didn’t know and had no reason to know about their loved one’s death or that it was due to someone’s negligence, the statute of limitations will be extended.
On the other hand, a survival action must be filed either within two years from the date of the decedent’s injury or within 6 months of their death, whichever comes later.
If you don’t file your claims by the deadline, you won’t be able to seek compensation from the responsible party in the future.
Rodriguez & Associates is The Right Choice For Your Wrongful Death Claim
If you have questions about filing a survival action or wrongful death suit in California after losing a loved one due to someone else’s negligence, contacting an experienced personal injury lawyer is crucial. Here’s why you should work with us:
- From the start of your case, you will have direct communication with one of our experienced attorneys. This direct line of communication helps address all questions or concerns quickly and accurately by someone who knows the details of your claim.
- The attorneys at our award-winning personal injury firm have more than 100 years of combined legal experience.
- We will help you get the compensation you deserve. Our results speak for themselves: the firm boasts a success rate of 95-96% for settlements and verdicts.
Contact Rodriguez & Associates today to schedule a free consultation.