Tomeny Best

When a loved one passes away unexpectedly, the survivors can file a lawsuit on their behalf for up to a year after the person’s death. Unlike a wrongful death lawsuit, which compensates a family for loss of companionship or income, a survival action is meant to pay for the harm the person experienced before death, such as pain and suffering or medical bills.

When you believe you may have a viable claim, it is crucial to contact a compassionate wrongful death attorney from Tomeny | Best for sound legal counsel. Often, survivors will have both wrongful death and survival claims. A Lafayette survival action lawyer from our firm could examine the facts surrounding a claim to see if bringing both types of action is possible.

Who Can Bring a Survival Action

Under Louisiana Civil Code 2315.1, a personal injury lawsuit does not die with a person. While a deceased’s survivors can bring a survival action, not every survivor has an equal ability to bring that action. The statute outlines the order of who has the right to bring the action on behalf of the deceased and, if there is no such relative, who has the next priority:

  • First is the surviving spouse and/or the child/children
  • Next, the parents, father and/or mother
  • After are the siblings
  • Finally, the grandparents

The law respects the rights of adopted siblings, children, parents, and grandparents. However, it does not recognize the rights of parents who abandoned the deceased while they were a child. Our Lafayette attorneys at Tomeny | Best understand that family situations can be complicated regarding survival action lawsuits, and our legal team could help a person understand their available options for filing a claim.

Understanding the Difference Between Wrongful Death and Survival Actions

In a wrongful death claim, the right to sue develops when a person dies, and a claim belongs to the survivors. In a survival action, the right to file a lawsuit belongs to the injured person and develops when the injury happens. Although a survival action belongs to the deceased, the survivors bring it on behalf of their loved ones.

To determine whether a family member has a potential survival action claim in Lafayette, an attorney needs to examine the circumstances of the death. If the deceased’s death was instantaneous, then there is no survival claim. Likewise, if medical evidence suggests that the deceased did not experience pain, trauma, or other harm, their survivors may be unable to bring a survival claim.

However, the deceased must not be aware for long to support a survival claim. Even a short period of awareness can support the claim, especially if the presumed amount of pain is excruciating. Fear of death can also support a trauma-based claim. As a result, when a person would have had enough time to fear an injury before it happened, even if they died as an immediate result of that injury, there may be a claim.

Speak to a Lafayette Attorney About Filing Your Survival Action Claim Today

When you have lost a loved one, you may be struggling to understand how to proceed with a potential lawsuit. Grief can be overwhelming, but a survival action claim could be one way to help your loved one receive the justice they deserve.

A well-practiced attorney at Tomeny | Best could help you understand your potential remedies. Schedule a free consultation with a Lafayette survival action lawyer today.

Tomeny Best

Tomeny Best