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When an accident turns fatal, it can be incredibly hard on the decedent’s family. That anguish can be further exacerbated if the deceased lived in severe pain for some period of time after the accident. Additionally, families are often left with severe financial hardships due to the unexpected loss. Fortunately, the decedent’s family may be able to hold the reckless party accountable for damages. When this occurs, there may be two different actions to take including filing a survival action claim as well as a wrongful death lawsuit. A dedicated wrongful death lawyer could assist with all elements of your family’s case. A local lawyer could provide essential help in comparing survival actions and wrongful death in Oak Lawn, allowing your family to seek justice for your loved one.

What Is the Difference Between a Survival Action and a Wrongful Death Claim?

There are key differences between a survival action and a wrongful death lawsuit. While the two legal concepts are often confused or combined, they are technically separate causes of action. They require different legal proofs and also a different manner of handling the case.

When someone dies as the result of another’s negligence, it may result in a wrongful death case. A wrongful death case involves the grief and loss sustained by the decedent’s family. Additionally, a survival action refers to the financial losses the decedent suffered prior to their death. A survival action allows the decedent’s family to continue seeking compensation for their loved one’s damages, such as medical expenses and pain and suffering, if they survived.

A survival action includes damages from the moment of the accident until the time of death. Wrongful death damages begin at the moment of death and onward. Furthermore, a survival action goes through probate court, while a wrongful death does not. Due to these complexities, it is important to work with an experienced attorney who could establish the differences between the wrongful death action and the survival action.

Who Represents the Deceased’s Estate if They Do Not Have a Will?

In a wrongful death case, there must be one person who is appointed as the administrator to be responsible for the legal action. The law dictates what familial relationship is required. For example, if two people are married and the husband becomes is killed, the wife has priority to represent the estate. This is true even if there is no will.

Many wrongful death cases do not involve a will and the law provides for a mechanism to appoint a representative of a person’s estate. There may be several people who have equal right to appoint a representative. It is important to speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible to avoid a conflict about the decedent’s estate.

Damages in Survivor Actions and Wrongful Death

The types of recoverable damages in a survival action are similar to the damages in personal injury case. The plaintiff’s family may be eligible to recover economic and non-economic damages. For example, a survival action includes the medical bills associated with the treatment of the deceased up until the time of their death. It could also include non-economic damages from the time of the accident until the time of death, which typically includes pain and suffering, emotional trauma, and loss of normal life.

A local wrongful death lawyer could gather all of the relevant medical records and bills and document any lost wages from the time of the injury until the time of death. Any wages in the future that are now lost could be recovered on behalf of the family in a wrongful death case.

Following the unexpected death of a loved one, it is advisable to consult with an experienced lawyer as soon as possible.

Speak to an Attorney When Comparing Survival Actions and Wrongful Death in Oak Lawn

When faced with the sudden passing of a family member, you should not only consider the loss your family has to endure, but also the harm that the deceased suffered as a result.

A lawyer who has experience in survival cases and wrongful death actions could assist a family in ways which go beyond the legal cause of action. They could help console the family and guide them through the difficult process of losing a loved one, especially if it is a child. Additionally, a lawyer is also considered a counselor at law. The counseling aspect during a wrongful death case is an important factor in selecting a legal advocate.

As such, a local lawyer could help compare survival actions and wrongful death in Oak Lawn and help you make the best decisions for your family. Call today to learn more about how an attorney could help your family.