There cannot be a survivor action without a wrongful death action. The difference is that in wrongful death cases, an attorney can get the medical bills, lost wages, and future lost wages, as well as the future loss of capacity to earn. In a survivor’s action, it is about how losing the loved one affected the person’s life. They are getting the loss of enjoyment, the loss of companionship. They are getting the loss of just hanging out with them and being with them. Basically, a survival action suit represents the loss of love.
If there is no will setting forth the executor of an estate, what will happen is the court will appoint a representative on behalf of the estate. Now, that representative very well may be a family member, but if there is discord within the family and the survivors of the victim cannot agree as to who will be the executor of the estate, then the court will appoint a professional executor or make a determination as to which family member is the best person to be responsible for the estate’s business.
A survivor action usually has the same process as a wrongful death claim. A survivor action is a derivative claim, which means you cannot have it without having a wrongful death claim. Therefore, as you are prosecuting a wrongful death action, the survivor action is being prosecuted at the same time. The only difference is the survivor can actually tell their stories and how they have been wronged throughout this process, and obviously, the deceased person is not able to give their statements.
The damages in a survivor action dealing with a wrongful death case are really calculated by the person’s life and how it impacts their life as wrongful death. The damages are determined in a survivor action with a wrongful death case by evaluating: how much time they spent with the deceased party, how their relationship was with the deceased party, and how their financial dependence was on the deceased party.
The evidence gathered to support the damage claims start with the basics, tax returns as well as with the family relationships which exist between individuals in the family, their testimony about what this deceased person meant to them and what functions the person played in their life. Were they the mentor or the role model, or did they look to the person for advice? Did the person support them economically and financially, and were they involved in their upbringing or their day-to-day life? Every survivor may have a very distinct and different claim; it is not cookie cutter and neither is the evidence.
How a Wrongful Death Attorney Can Help
In a survivor action case, an attorney can really try to shield the family from a lot of the rigmarole that goes with a wrongful death case. They really can talk to the surviving family members in the best way to gather the information they need for the claim to get the most value. At the same time, they can really try to shield them from rehashing the events which took the life of their loved one.
The attorney fights for the rights and the interests of the surviving family, but they also act as a shield to the surviving family from law enforcement, the insurance companies, and as much of the process as they can. They protect your interests, because, in a delicate time like when a loved one has passed away, the defendant sometimes tries to take advantage of people’s emotions and settle claims for far below value, simply because the family members are not in a psychological state to be able to deal with the loss of their loved one.