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The loss of a loved one is never easy or pleasant. The ordeal is only made significantly more trying when the death resulted from someone’s wrongful actions and should never have happened. Sudden death doesn’t just take a heavy emotional toll on a decedent’s loved ones – it can incur great financial costs and burdens on their estate as a result of their sudden absence. If these financial harms were the result of someone else’s wrongful actions, it may be possible to seek damages that cover injuries to the estate. If someone lost their life because of negligent, intentional, or criminal actions, the estate representative should contact a skilled Hemet Survival Action Attorney to see if the estate may be entitled to compensation for its injuries.

Survival Action Risk Factors in Hemet

Though Hemet is a relatively small town of 84,000, living here does not come without risk. Hemet’s crime rate is 1.5 times the national average, and 2016 saw 5 homicides, 41 rapes, and 398 violent assaults. Additionally, there were 638 reported traffic incidents resulting in injury or death in 2016 – 56 of which involved alcohol. Any of these incidents resulting in death could potentially give rise to a survival action claim. Violent crime, in addition to heavy traffic, higher than average drunk driving rates, and a growing elderly population requiring more and more medical procedures that carry the risk of death by malpractice all make Hemet a city where situations giving rise to survival actions would occur relatively often.

Who Can File a Hemet Survival Action?

A loved one’s untimely, avoidable death can potentially spawn several lawsuits to recover damages for injuries incurred by the estate and the decedent’s loved ones – most notably wrongful death claims and survival action claims. Though these claims may seem to be the same at first glance, they are fundamentally different and can stand alone when filed by the appropriate parties.

A decedent’s surviving family members file wrongful death claims to recover for injuries they suffered because of decedent’s passing. With a survival action, however, a representative of the decedent’s estate files a claim on behalf of the estate itself – not the survivors. This claim seeks damages for the estate’s injuries suffered between initial infliction of harm on the victim and their subsequent death.

What Situations Merit a Survival Action Claim?

Survival actions are properly brought by the estate of a decedent seeking compensation for harms it suffered between infliction of the decedent’s injuries and their eventual death. The crucial point for recovery in survival actions is the estate’s ability to show it suffered actual harm during the period between initial injury and death. Instantaneous death does not allow pursuit of a survival action claim for recovery. However, the time frame does not have to be prolonged to satisfy the requirement for survival actions – even mere moments will suffice. Situations where survival actions were allowed include:

  • Decedent is shot and dies on the way to the hospital;
  • Decedent is hit by a drunk driver and expires waiting for first responders; and
  • Decedent dies in the hospital several days after surgery as a result of malpractice during the procedure.

If your loved one died because of someone’s bad behavior, contact a skilled Hemet Survival Action Lawyer to learn if the estate may be able to file a survival action to recover for its damages.

When Can I File a Hemet Survival Action Claim?

Once someone in Hemet is injured due to another’s bad behavior and subsequently dies, the decedent’s estate representative can properly bring a survival action claim. However, the representative should not delay in filing a claim – California has a statutory deadline for filing a survival claim in court seeking recovery for damages to the estate. A survival action must not be filed after the later of:

  • 2 years following the date of the defendant’s initial injury, or
  • 6 months after the date of decedent’s death if they did not expire immediately after suffering their injuries.

If the estate representative fails to file a timely claim for recovery, any case filed after the deadline will be dismissed by the court. The estate will be permanently barred from seeking any survival action damages through the courts by the statute of limitations.

How Does an Estate Recover Damages in Hemet?

It’s common to wonder how an estate recovers damages for harms it suffered between infliction of the decedent’s injuries and their passing. Estate representatives most commonly recover under the theory of negligence. However, demonstrating either reckless or intentional actions by defendant caused loss of decedent’s life can also render them liable for damages to the estate. To establish negligence, the estate must prove it’s more likely than not:

  • The defendant owed the deceased a legal duty of care;
  • The duty was breached by defendant’s act or omission; and
  • Defendant’s breached caused injury to the deceased’s estate.

What Can an Estate Recover in a Hemet Survival Action?

If the estate can establish a defendant is negligent and there is no valid legal defense for their actions, defendant will be liable for the estate’s damages. Compensatory damages are designed to make the estate whole for economic harms it suffered between infliction of the deceased’s injuries and their death. Common injuries meriting a compensatory damage award include burial costs, medical expenses, and property damage.

In some cases, the estate may also be awarded punitive damages to punish a defendant’s malicious, fraudulent, or oppressive conduct. Because these damages are tricky to prove, require satisfying a very high burden of proof, and are entirely discretionary, it’s highly recommended that these are pursued with the help of an experienced Hemet Survival Action Lawyer to avoid very costly legal missteps.

Speak to a Hemet Survival Action Attorney

If someone has died as a result of another’s wrongful conduct, their estate representative should speak to the experienced Hemet Survival Action Attorneys at Walton Law without delay. Our attorneys have spent years delivering personalized, dedicated representation to estates and secured millions in compensation for deserving estates through survival action lawsuits. Contact us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at (866)-338-7079 or use our online Contact Page to schedule your risk-free initial case evaluation today. The review is confidential, and you do not pay until we win your case. Let our knowledgeable attorneys analyze the facts of your unique case, answer your questions, and help you take the first step to securing the maximum recovery for the estate and making the best of an unfortunate situation.