Overcoming the agony of losing a loved one’s companionship is a harrowing feat, especially if their death was premature. When you lose someone due to the negligence, or ill-will, of another, the impact of their death is felt throughout every aspect of your life, which is why Survivor Actions and Wrongful Death lawsuits have become a source of justice for the families of victims who lost their life due to the negligence, or intent, of another party.
The right to seek damages for the wrongful death of a loved one was codified by English Parliament in 1846 and later “served as a guide for most American legislatures.” Earlier forms of personal injury suits were seen in Kentucky in “1812…[that] were made to survive the death of both the victim and the wrongdoer,”[i] however, comprehensive laws protecting survivors were not adopted by America until almost a century later and went through numerous revisions. Overtime, these revisions strengthened the law and designated the parents, spouse, or the direct decedents of the victim as the only individuals who can bring forth a wrongful death suit.
Wrongful Death Lawsuits allow families to collect damages for funeral costs, the financial loss the family suffered due to losing a member, loss of consortium for the spouse, emotional trauma, and damages for the value of the victim’s life. Wrongful Death Lawsuits are not meant to punish the defendant(s) for their actions, as much as they are meant to seek justice for the families and place financial safeguards for the family of the victim.
Where Wrongful Death Suits allow families to collect for the loss of companionship, Survival Wrongful Death Actions allow the decedent’s estate to “sue for injuries or damages suffered by the decedent immediately before he died.”[ii] The plaintiffs can receive compensation for any monetary damages if their loved one initially survived the incident, but passed away shortly thereafter from sustained injuries. However, if the victim died instantly, the decedent’s family cannot collect damages.
No family should have to deal with the accidental death of a loved one. Feelings of anger, depression, and anxiety can seem insurmountable after losing someone close to you; however, the support of an experienced personal injury attorney La Mesa, or a personal injury attorney San Marcos, can help to ease the pain and anxiety that comes with obtaining justice for your loved one. To learn more, call a personal injury lawyer San Diego at Acclaim Law Group at (858) 252-0781.
Disclaimer: While we always seek to establish accuracy when publishing articles, this piece is not intended to provide legal advice, and should not be used as such. Each individual case will differ and should be discussed with an attorney or legal expert. If you would like to inquire about pursuing a claim, please contact us at (858) 205-4884 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
[i] Malone, W. S. (1965). American Fatal Accident Statutes-Part I: The Legislative Birth Pains. Duka Law Journal, 673-719. Retrieved from https://scholarship.law.duke.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1999&context=dlj
[ii] Survival of Tort Actions. (n.d.). Retrieved from Law Shelf: https://lawshelf.com/courseware/entry/survival-of-tort-actions