What’s the Difference Between Survival Action & Wrongful Death in Kentucky?

In the event you lose somebody that you love due to the negligent or intentional actions of another individual or entity, you may be able to recover compensation for your losses. There are two separate civil actions that help recover compensation after a person loses their life due to the actions of others – wrongful death claims and survival actions.

Here, we want to review the difference between these two types of civil actions. There are important distinctions that need to be made, even though they can both be filed against the same person for the same death.

What Are Wrongful Death Claims Intended For?

In Kentucky, wrongful death claims can be filed if “the death of a person results from an injury inflicted by the negligence or wrongful act of another.” Wrongful death claims, like survival actions, arise in a number of ways, including vehicle accidents, medical malpractice, intentional actions like gunshots or stabbings, premises liability incidents, defective product incidents, and more.

In the state of Kentucky, the personal representative, often referred to as the executor, of a deceased individual’s estate is responsible for filing a wrongful death claim. In the event there is no personal representative, then the court will appoint a person to act as a personal representative.

Wrongful death claims are designed so that surviving family members can recover various types of losses. This includes funeral and burial expenses, attorney’s fees, loss of companionship, loss of services, loss of future earnings the deceased would have provided, loss of inheritance, and more.

What are Survival Actions in Kentucky?

Survival actions are a separate civil action that focuses on a different aspect of a death. This type of civil action revolves around the deceased individual’s final minutes, hours, or days. If a person survived the incident that led to their death, even for a short period of time, then a survival action is likely appropriate. You can think of a survival action as a personal injury lawsuit that the deceased would have been able to file against the other party, had they lived.

When a person survives an initial incident, there are various types of expenses that will be incurred and passed to the estate and family members. Survival actions are commenced by the deceased’s estate, but the court is asked to provide compensation to the victim for their pain and suffering from the moment the injury occurred to the moment of death.

Some of the main types of compensation recoverable through a survival action include medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering. The total amount of compensation awarded through a survival action will depend heavily on the length of time a person lived after sustaining an injury and their total level of pain and suffering before passing away.

Working With a Lawyer

If you have lost somebody that you love as a result of the careless or negligent actions of another individual or entity in Kentucky, reach out to a Louisville wrongful death attorney as soon as possible. A skilled lawyer can examine the facts of your case and work diligently to negotiate with other parties to recover a fair settlement on behalf of you and your loved ones.