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An untimely loss of life is unfortunate and tragic no matter when it happens. The tragedy is only compounded when someone dies because of another’s negligent behavior, recklessness, or intentional action. A person’s unexpected, permanent absence leaves a gigantic void behind – not only for their close friends and family, but for the deceased’s estate itself.

Even with the death of the victim, it is still possible for not only their survivors but also their estate to seek compensation and recover damages for the financial consequences suffered by decedent’s absence. In order to look after the well-being of the estate, it is advisable for a representative on the estate’s behalf to talk to a Murrieta attorney with experience handling survival actions to preserve all the estate’s legal rights and take all the proper steps to try and recover just compensation for a loss that will never be properly rectified.

Crime Facts in Murrieta

Murrieta safe city compared to the rest of the nation – while 149 residents of every 100,000 in Murrieta will be victims of crimes, the national average is 322 for every 100,000 residents. Violent crime, along with other situations such as car accidents, workplace accidents, and defective medications, are all commonly attributed to loss of life and rightfully brought wrongful deaths and survival actions.

Do I File a Survival Action Lawsuit or a Wrongful Death Claim?

If a loved one is killed, it may seem you have options to file either a survival action lawsuit or a wrongful death claim. It may even appear that wrongful death and survival actions are the same. Even though at first glance they are similar and are often brought at the same time when someone wrongfully loses their life, they are different.

California has set forth different standards for survival actions and wrongful death claims. If a representative of the estate of the deceased wants to seek compensatory damages on behalf of injuries sustained by the estate before the decedent’s death, a survival action is warranted in civil court. If, however, you are a surviving family member and are seeking compensation for injuries you suffered as a result of your loved one’s death, a wrongful death lawsuit is the appropriate cause of action to purse.

What Types of Situations Trigger a Survival Action?

If someone in Murrieta loses their life because of negligence, recklessness, or an intentionally wrongful act, a survival action can be pursued in order to compensate the estate for financial harms suffered after the decedent’s injuries but prior to death.

The difficult part of recovering in survival actions is that the estate must show damages occurred after the decedent’s injuries occurred but before their death. Therefore, if a decedent is instantly killed during by their injuries, the estate may not file a lawsuit. However, if the decedent survived their injuries long enough for any type of economic harm to occur, the cause of action may be properly filed. For example, it’s appropriate to file survival actions when:

  • A victim of assault expires on the way to the emergency room;
  • A passenger in a vehicle dies waiting for paramedics after being involved in a crash with a drunk driver; or
  • An elderly person dies after suffering physical abuse or neglect at the hands of staff at their nursing home.

How Long Do I Have to File A Survival Action?

Murrieta, along with the rest of California, follows the statutes that establish a time frame in which the estate of a deceased victim can file a survival action claim in court. If the representative of an estate wishes to file a lawsuit, it is important not to delay in taking action. The estate has 2 years from the date of the deceased’s incident or 6 months from their death to file an action in court – otherwise they are barred by the statute of limitations from taking civil action to recover damages. If the timeline is not properly observed, a survival action will be barred by the statute of limitations and the ability to recover damages will be forfeited.

What Damages Can Be Recovered in a Survival Action?

A decedent’s estate may recover compensatory and potentially punitive damages upon showing the decedent was killed as a result of negligent, reckless, or intentional actions committed by another party. Compensatory damages are limited to provable economic damages. These types of damage awards are given to compensate a decedent’s estate for harm as a result of the wrongful act.

The decedent’s estate is usually able to recover damages for things such as:

  • Medical bills;
  • Burial and funeral bills; and
  • Property damage.

Parties to a survival action, unlike those filing wrongful death claims, may also recover punitive damages from a culpable party. These damages can deal a deafening blow in survival actions, because no caps or statutory limits exist as to the amount that may be awarded. The decision on whether to issue an award and determine the amount are evaluated on a case by case basis and made by the judge or jury in the case. Because of this potential economic windfall, it is wise to seek experienced representation in Murrieta to make the best arguments possible when seeking punitive damages.

Contact a Survival Action Attorney in Murrieta Without Delay

Though loss of life is tragic and always regrettable, it is important to take action despite the inherent discomfort. Because time is not on your side, you should speak with the experienced Murrieta survival action attorneys at Walton Law today to preserve the rights of the decedent’s estate, understand the options available, and decide upon the wisest course of action. Our knowledgeable attorneys have spent years representing clients like you and securing millions in recovery on their cases. Contact us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at (866)-338-7079 or through our online Contact Page to set up a no risk, confidential case review. There is no obligation and you pay nothing unless we recover. Our skilled attorneys will deliver personalized advocacy to deliver the best outcome for you from a regrettable situation.