When you lose a loved one because of someone’s negligence or intentional wrongdoing, the law offers ways to make that person pay for the irreparable harm they caused. If your family member recently passed away and you believe that negligence or ill-intent was involved, you may be entitled to file a survival action against the responsible party.

A St. Louis survival actions lawyer could review your case and advise what legal options may be possible. At OnderLaw, our compassionate wrongful death attorneys have represented countless clients in these types of civil actions by filing lawsuits against individuals, corporations, and others who have played a role in a wrongful death.

Similarities and Differences Between Survival Actions & Wrongful Death Cases

Survival actions are often confused with wrongful death cases, but these are two separate legal actions in the state of Missouri. You can initiate a survival action alongside a wrongful death lawsuit, or vice versa, or you can simply file one of these cases. Either of these lawsuits can arise in circumstances involving a negligent or criminal incident that leads to a person’s untimely death.

Examples of survival actions could be a motor vehicle accident, medical negligence, or an act of criminality like assault or murder. Both wrongful death lawsuits and survival actions are designed to bring about justice for the individual’s death in the form of a civil lawsuit and to provide compensation for certain types of financial, emotional, and psychological damages. However, a few key differences exist between a survival action and a wrongful death case.

First, the purpose of these two cases is different. A wrongful death lawsuit compensates certain surviving family members of the deceased loved one for the losses they have sustained due to their loved one’s death. A survival action compensates the estate of the decedent. The losses recoverable in a survival action are those the deceased would have been entitled to recover had they survived their injuries. For the purposes of a survival action, these losses would be calculated from the time of the person’s injury until their death.

Second, the parties who can file a survival action vs. a wrongful death action differ. The law outlines a list of family members who may be entitled to file a wrongful death lawsuit to recover the value of the harm they have sustained from their loved one’s passing, such as the decedent’s spouse, children, or parents.

With a survival action, because this is a lawsuit filed to compensate the estate for damages the deceased would have claimed had they lived, the estate’s personal representative must bring this type of case forward. Note that while the estate’s personal representative is often a close family member, this individual could be someone else the deceased had previously appointed to manage their affairs in the event of death.

If the deceased loved one never appointed a personal representative, this could be someone the court appoints to recover damages sustained by the estate. Our St. Louis attorneys can help you file a survival action alongside or separate from a wrongful death lawsuit to maximize the value of the recoverable damages.

Filing a Survival Action in Missouri

When it comes to filing a survival action in St. Louis, you should speak with a qualified lawyer as soon as possible to ensure that you have the right to bring this type of lawsuit forward and do so by the required filing deadline. The statute of limitations or filing deadline to bring a survival action is identical to the one that applies to wrongful death cases in Missouri.

That filing deadline is three years from the date the loved one passed away. Failure to bring a survival action within this time window could mean that eligible parties forfeit their right to do so in the future. Because survival actions are designed to reflect the value of the damages incurred by the deceased from the day they were injured until the date of their death, there are very specific forms of compensation that you can recover in this type of case.

These forms of compensation could include the value of the medical bills and lost income the deceased incurred between the time of their injury and death. However, you could also collect non-financial damages in a survival action, such as the value of the pain, suffering, and psychological anguish the deceased suffered from the time of their injury until they passed away from their injuries.

Get Help from a St. Louis Survival Actions Attorney

While there is no monetary figure that can compensate for the loss of your loved one, the party or parties who caused or contributed to their death need to be held responsible. Our trusted lawyers at OnderLaw can help you take the necessary legal steps to achieve financial recovery in a survival action or a wrongful death claim, giving your family peace of mind and space to grieve.

It is important that you have a St. Louis survival actions lawyer with legal knowledge, extensive negotiation experience, and courtroom prowess handling your case from the beginning. An attorney can collect the full body of evidence required to support your case, including physical evidence, expert witness statements, medical records, autopsy reports, photos, videos, and more so you don’t have to. Contact OnderLaw today to set up your free, confidential legal consultation.