The 3 Differences Between Wrongful Death Claims And Survival Actions

The 3 Differences Between Wrongful Death Claims And Survival Actions
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Madeleine Jones
July 9, 2020

When you lose someone you love due to someone else’s negligence, you are often left with not only grief but also serious financial burdens: the loss of a major income source, medical bills, funeral expenses, etc. After suffering such a tragedy, what are your available legal options? Under the law of Nevada, two options are available, wrongful death claims and survival actions. 

Both are a way of recovering damages from the person liable for a victim’s death. However, they are different in many key ways. Below we will explain each of these options in-depth, who can file each type of claim, and when it is a good idea to consult with a wrongful death attorney. See the 3 differences between wrongful death claims and survival actions below.

What Is a Wrongful Death Claim?

A wrongful death claim focuses on the family of the deceased victim. and allows close family members to file a lawsuit for damages. These damages may be the grief and suffering the family has endured, the income they have lost because of their loved one’s passing, funeral expenses, and medical bills pending from the victim’s injuries.

What Is a Survival Action?

A survival action in Nevada is a lawsuit against the person liable for the injuries sustained by the deceased before their death. This action is filed by the victim’s estate, not the surviving family members.

Black Rose Signifying Death

What Are The Differences Between Wrongful Death Claims and Survival Actions

#1 Who Can Bring The Claim

The first difference between wrongful death claims and survival actions is who can bring the claim. A wrongful death lawsuit is filed on behalf of the spouse, parents, or children. A survival action is filed on behalf of the deceased person by an estate representative.

#2 Type Of Damages

In wrongful death claims, the type of damages that are recoverable is focused on the losses suffered by the family. These are loss of income and support, loss of the victim’s company, and medical and funeral expenses. In a survival action claim, the damages that can be recovered are the deceased person’s losses as if he had survived the accident. For example, pain and suffering.

#3 How Damages Are Distributed

Damages in wrongful death claims get distributed through Nevada’s rules of intestacy, and they area always subject to estate taxes. Survival action claims distribute the damages under the terms of the victim’s will and are subject to estate taxes.

Do Wrongful Death Claims And Survival Actions Have Anything In Common?

Yes, there is one important thing in common between wrongful death claims and survival actions. The statute of limitations is two years. This is subject to exception due to these types of cases being complex. It is of extreme importance to contact an attorney as soon as possible.

Who Can Be Eligible To File A Wrongful Death Lawsuit or Survival Action?

It really depends on the jurisdiction. Normally, a survival action is brought by the executor of the deceased’s estate. In a wrongful death claim, the people filing the lawsuit include the deceased’s spouse or children or parents if the deceased was not married.

Sometimes, the grandparents or siblings of the deceased can be eligible to pursue either claim.

Is There A Statute Of Limitations For Bringing A Survival Action?

There is a statute of limitations in Nevada before which accident victims can file a lawsuit. If the victims don’t do it during that time limit, then they no longer have their legal rights.

When the victim of the accident dies before the statute of limitations is up, the executor of their estate can still bring a lawsuit. Anytime during that time limit. However, if the victim dies less than a year before the statute of limitations, the executor of their estate has a year from the victim’s death to make a survival action.

The victim’s estate needs time to address all legal matters and ramifications of death. This is why Nevada law allows executors extra time to file a survival claim if the victim dies within the year of the statute of limitations.

Wrongful Death And Survival Action Attorney In Las Vegas

If you have lost a loved one because of someone else’s negligence a survival action or wrongful death lawsuit may be able to help you hold the person guilty accountable and recover compensation for your losses. Our experienced survival action attorneys at Cogburn Law can help you. We understand that no matter what financial compensation you get it won’t make up for your loss. However, pursuing a lawsuit can help to provide you some sense of closure as well as restoring some financial stability. At Cogburn Law, we’re here to help you and fight for you and your family. For a free consultation call today at (702) 748-7777.

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