Is There a Difference Between Wrongful Death and Survival Action?

Losing a loved one is a painful and challenging situation, regardless of the reasons and conditions in which the person passed away. When something like this happens, the surviving family members, or the persons who represent the victim’s estate, have legal recourse through which they can recover compensation. Today we will talk about these two processes known as “wrongful death” and “survival action” and explain their differences.

In a wrongful death case, the person dies due to the negligent actions of a third party—for example, medical negligence, car accidents, accidents in facilities, etc. The first thing to consider is that a wrongful death lawsuit aims to obtain compensation for damages for surviving family members. Therefore, the only people who can carry out the process are the victim’s spouse, parents, or children. This compensation will include all medical expenses, pain, and suffering of the family for the loss of a loved one, lost wages that the family finances depend on, and loss of company. This compensation goes directly to the surviving family members and is generally tax-exempt.

On the other hand, the survivor action is handled like a personal injury case, even if the person is deceased. The victim’s heir or the representative of the will and/or their estate can carry this process out.
In the survival action, the compensation does not go directly to the relatives but to the person’s assets. Medical expenses, pending bills, and even the pain and suffering that the person may have suffered before death can be covered through this.

That is, this compensation would go directly to the person’s assets, so this would be subject to taxes. However, once the victim’s expenses have been paid and taxes have been deducted, the remainder can go to the relatives according to the deceased person’s last wishes.