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‘Survival actions vs. ‘wrongful death’ in Seattle

On Behalf of | Sep 22, 2017 | Fatal Motor Vehicle Accidents |

The death of a loved one in an accident can take quite a toll on a Seattle family. The sudden absence of a husband, wife, child or parent can mean great emotional and mental suffering, as well as potential economic problems caused by the loss of an income or medical costs associated with attempting to save the individual’s life. When such a death is caused by the negligence of someone else, and thus may have been preventable, the effects can be even more pronounced.

In Washington State, there are statutory legal grounds that families can use to potentially recover compensation when a loved one is killed by another’s carelessness. However, those contemplating such a course should understand that there are two main ways of pursuing such a course. One is through a wrongful death lawsuit, and the other is through the use of a so-called ‘survival action.’

Wrongful death suits are those that most people think about when they consider what to do when a loved one dies. In such suits, the family member attempts to recover damages for the loss he or she personally suffered, such as the loss of financial contribution, loss of consortium or emotional distress caused by being present when the family member was killed.

The idea behind a survival action is different, however. It stems from the fact that state statute explicitly provides that causes of actions that might have been pursued by the deceased individual are not extinguished by his or her death. That is, the decedent’s estate can pursue damages in the same way the victim could have if he or she had survived.

This means that family members who are heirs of the victim of a fatal accident may have a few different methods of pursuing compensation for the loss of the loved one. Those Seattle residents with questions about how to go about filing such claims and which may be more likely to succeed may wish to consider speaking with an experienced injury attorney.

Source: Post Type: Topical