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Written by: Stephen Schofield
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If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence or wrongdoing of another, you may be entitled to compensation. In general, there are two types of actions that you can file after you have lost someone: a wrongful death action and a survival action.

The two actions are similar, but they do have important differences. This article discusses the difference between wrongful death and survival actions so that you can be more fully informed before initiating a legal claim.

Further, if you have suffered a loss in California and need an wrongful death lawyer’s advice on wrongful death vs. survival actions, you can contact the personal injury lawyers at Wells Call Injury Lawyers today at 707-273-1278. 

What Is a Wrongful Death Claim? 

A wrongful death claim is a cause of action for the death that was due to the wrongful act or negligence of another. California’s wrongful death statute allows certain people to bring a legal claim to compensate them for the losses stemming from the death of their loved one. In California, the individuals allowed to bring a wrongful death action include the: 

  • Decedent’s surviving spouse, 
  • Decedent’s domestic partner, 
  • Decedent’s children,
  • Issue of the decedent’s deceased children,
  • Decedent’s dependents, and
  • Minors in the deceased’s household. 

It is important to note that there are some legal nuances to who can bring a wrongful death action that are best explained by a California wrongful death attorney

What Is a Survival Action? 

The purpose of a survival action is to compensate the decedent’s estate with damages that the decedent would have been able to obtain if they had lived. Therefore, these damages stem from events that occurred before the decedent passed but after the incident that led to their death. These damages can include: 

  • Medical expenses, 
  • Lost wages, 
  • Property damage, and 
  • Increased living expenses. 

These are just a few examples of the different types of damages that the decedent’s estate may be entitled to in a survival action.

One of the key differences between a survival action vs. a wrongful death action is who can bring the legal claim. In a wrongful death action, the decedent’s loved ones are usually entitled to bring the claim.

However, a survival action is brought on behalf of the deceased themselves by a personal representative. This personal representative is usually the executor or administrator of the decedent’s estate. 

Since the purpose of survival actions is to compensate the decedent, not the family, the decedent must have survived long enough to incur economic losses after the accident or injury that caused their death. Thus, survival actions may not be appropriate in all situations. 

How Can Wells Call Injury Lawyers Help? 

At Wells Call Injury Lawyers, we understand that losing a loved one can be a painful experience. Further, our wrongful death attorneys know that filing a legal claim can put further emotional and financial stress on you and your family.

Our firm has the necessary experience to guide you through the legal process and zealously fight for your rights. We can walk you through your options on a wrongful death vs. survival action.

And we offer free case evaluations for all of our clients, and we work on a contingency fee basis. That means if you don’t win your case, it’s free. Contact us online or call us at 707-273-1278 today.

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