Watching a loved one suffer and then succumb to their injuries is a heartbreaking experience. When questions surround their passing, the difficulties and pain are often compounded. Fortunately, a Lancaster survival actions lawyer could answer those questions and help you examine your legal options.

If you suspect that your family member passed away due to another person’s careless or negligent actions, you should speak with a compassionate wrongful death attorney at McDonald at Law. Our knowledgeable legal team could help you pursue a claim against the person or business responsible for causing your loved one’s unexpected passing.

How do Survival Actions Differ from Wrongful Death Claims?

When someone passes away due to another individual’s negligence or intentional misconduct, the deceased’s family might be eligible for legal relief. The surviving family members may file two different types of claims against the person who caused their loved one’s untimely passing.

Wrongful Death Claims

A wrongful death claim allows a decedent’s survivors to pursue compensation for losses they incurred as a result of their loved one’s passing. These losses typically include the income that the deceased individual would have provided over their lifetime, as well as the family’s loss of companionship and mental anguish. A seasoned Lancaster attorney with McDonald at Law could help a surviving family member determine whether they are eligible to file this type of claim for an individual’s unexpected passing.

Survival Actions

Unlike wrongful death claims, which address the losses of the surviving family members, survival actions seek to recover the losses that the decedent suffered before their passing. These claims give the decedent’s estate representatives the right to pursue legal relief on the same grounds that would have allowed the decedent to file for compensation if they had survived.

Specifically, the decedent’s personal representative may recover the following damages in a successful survival action in Lancaster:

  • Medical bills from the time of the accident to the time of death
  • Lost wages while undergoing medical care
  • Pain and suffering caused by the accident
  • Emotional distress

Our lawyers frequently help family members pursue survival actions and wrongful death claims at the same time. However, only certain individuals are eligible to file survival action claims.

Who Can Pursue Survival Actions in Lancaster?

A decedent’s surviving family members cannot bring a survival action. In Pennsylvania, only the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate can file a survival action, according to 20 Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes §3371.

Furthermore, the representative can only bring the same claims that the deceased person could have filed if they were still alive. If the survival action is successful, the damages would be awarded to the decedent’s estate. The proceeds would then be distributed according to the decedent’s will or, if they died without a will, Pennsylvania intestacy laws.

Speak with a Survival Actions Attorney in Lancaster Today

If you suspect that your loved one’s passing was avoidable, their estate might be able to pursue compensation for the losses they suffered before death. Speak with a member of our team to discuss whether filing a survival action is an option for your loved one’s estate. Get in touch with a Lancaster survival actions lawyer with McDonald at Law to maximize your chances of recovering your loved one’s damages, so you can get on the road to healing.

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