What is a survivor statute?
A survival statute is a law that provides the legal right to an injured party to sue an at-fault party for damages to a victim prior to their passing. If the victim has passed and filed a claim before they died, the estate of that victim can take over the case in pursuit of compensation.
These statutes vary from state to state. In most states, the estate is legally permitted to seek damages that occurred before the victim’s passing. In other words, the estate can seek compensation that the deceased person would have been able to claim had they not passed away.
A survival statute differs from a wrongful death suit. In a wrongful death lawsuit, survivors seek compensation for what has been lost as a result of the victim’s death. A survival action seeks compensation for damages that the victim suffered before their death. For example, an estate may seek compensation for emotional distress, pain and suffering and medical expenses.
Unlike medical bills, there is no accurate way to calculate the damages caused by pain and suffering or emotional trauma. Because of this, insurance companies use different methods to determine the amount of compensation that will be offered. In some cases, this compensation is adequate and fair. In other cases, a lawsuit must be filed in order for a survivor to be treated as they should be.
If a person dies in an accident and their survivors or estate has questions with regards to which type of lawsuit they may file in Atlanta, an experienced Atlanta wrongful death attorney can be of assistance.