What is a wrongful death action and what is a survival action?

A wrongful death action is an action on behalf of the heirs or relations ofthe deceased on their own behalf. The law recognizes the heirs or relatives were deprived of the love, companionship and often income of the deceased and allows them to recover for that.

A survival action is bought  to recover damages the decedent suffered before death. For example, maybe the deceased had $100,000 in medical bills before he died. That ammt can be recovered in a survival action.

Why does it matter what you call the action? Why not sue for both?

Well, sometimes there might be  very large medical bills and some insurance company or government entity may have a lien and have first claim on the money.
Example:

Decedent had final medical bills of $100,000 paid my Medicare. Lets say its a case against a negligent driver of a car who only has $50,000 in insurance coverage. Some attorneys sue for Wrongful death and survival only to find medicare's lien on the recovery leaves nothing left over.
An experienced attorney will only file the wrongful death action on behalf the heirs. The heirs then recover the $50,000 policy and Medicare gets zero. ( Because a survival suit was not filed!)

If you are looking for an attorney please visit our page: Sacramento Wrongful Death Attorney.
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