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After someone passes away as a direct result of someone else’s irresponsible or wrongful act, surviving family members of the deceased person are often able to demand compensation for their own losses through a wrongful death claim. In many situations, a wrongful death case alone cannot account for every form of harm this sort of accident causes to every person involved—most notably, the person whose life was unfairly cut short.

If a significant amount of time passed between your family member’s fatal injury and eventual death, or if that family member had grounds to file a separate personal injury claim when they passed, you may want to discuss filing a survival action with a seasoned wrongful death attorney. Guidance from an Elgin survival actions lawyer can be key to making sure you recover completely from the impact of your tragic loss and may help you move forward.

How Are Survival Actions Different from Wrongful Death Cases?

The main difference between wrongful death lawsuits and survival actions is whose losses are meant to be compensated through the claim. A wrongful death lawsuit is meant to help family members with specific financial and personal losses they will experience because of their loved one’s premature death. A survival action is built around recovery for losses that a deceased person suffered between their injury due to someone else’s actions and their eventual death.

For example, if someone gets severely hurt in an auto crash and passes away from their injuries after a month of intensive treatment in a hospital, that person likely sustained numerous financial and personal losses. Had they survived the incident, they could have sought restitution for these losses through a personal injury lawsuit. Likewise, if someone suffered a non-fatal injury in one auto accident and then was killed in an entirely different wreck, their cause of action for the first wreck would “survive” their death—hence, the term “survival action.”

A qualified Elgin survival actions attorney can offer guidance during a private consultation about whether your specific circumstances may give rise to this claim. Similarly, they can advise on how to effectively pursue this case separately or in conjunction with a wrongful death claim.

Damages Available Through a Successful Survival Action

As with wrongful death litigation, only the personal representative or “executor” of a deceased person’s estate can file a survival action in that deceased person’s name. Through a successful claim, that representative can recover for all medical expenses related to care the decedent received between their:

  • Injury and eventual death
  • Personal property damage
  • Lost work income
  • Funeral or burial costs

These apply to cases where they were paid out of the decedent’s personal assets. Notably, though, the Illinois Survival Act does not allow recovery through a survival action for physical pain or emotional suffering experienced by a deceased person between their injury and eventual death.

Additionally, state law almost always requires survival actions in Elgin and throughout Illinois to be filed no later than two years after the accident or injury that gave rise to the claim in the first place. This is something a seasoned attorney could assist with.

Get in Touch With an Elgin Survival Actions Attorney After a Family Member’s Wrongful Death

Survival actions can be just as legally and emotionally complex as wrongful death claims, especially if the memory of your tragic loss is still fresh in your mind. Fortunately, you have assistance available from compassionate legal professionals who understand both how difficult these situations can be and how to minimize additional stress on your family.

A conversation with an Elgin survival actions lawyer could give you much-needed clarity about your legal options and rights. Schedule a meeting by calling today.

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