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Do you need to file a survival action or wrongful death lawsuit?

On Behalf of | Dec 29, 2021 | wrongful death

The civil code in Louisiana protects people from injuries and losses caused by others. There are numerous personal injury statutes that allow someone to seek compensation for property damage, medical bills, lost wages and other consequences people suffer because of a person or a business.

In scenarios where the actions or omissions of another party result in the death of one of your immediate family members, you can potentially file a civil lawsuit against the person or business who caused the death.

Family members can potentially file survival actions or wrongful death lawsuits under Louisiana law. What is the difference between these two options?

Survival action focus on the losses your loved one suffered

A survival action essentially involves family members bringing a claim that their loved one could have made if they had survived. It involves the personal losses and suffering of the deceased individual or the financial implications of their injury prior to their death.

Survival actions are often valuable for those whose loved ones required extensive medical care before they died. They are also beneficial for families affected by fatal car crashes, as they can claim the property damage losses their loved one could have sought. Survival actions hold the other party accountable for what your loved one experienced.

What is a wrongful death lawsuit?

While a survival claim focuses on how the misconduct or negligence of the other party affected your family member, wrongful death claims look at the impact of that loss on you and other dependent family members. Someone’s unearned wages and their household support are among the losses that you could claim in a wrongful death lawsuit.

Families don’t always have to choose

Realistically assessing your situation can help you determine what laws better apply to your scenario. Family members can often have losses that fall into both categories, requiring that they file more than one civil lawsuit against the person or business responsible for a recent fatality.

Successful civil litigation can reduce the long-term financial losses your family suffers. It can also provide closure when the courts rule that the other party is at fault for your loss. Knowing your legal options after a tragic wrongful death can help your family hold the other party accountable.