Who can bring a survival action in Florida?

Only certain people can bring a survival action in Florida. Learn more about who can bring a survival action as well as who can benefit below.

What is a survival action?

A survival action is essentially a continuation of a legal action that the deceased filed before death. It is important to note that no one can continue an action for the accident or injury that caused the decedent’s death. For example, if the decedent suffered a traumatic brain injury in a car accident and had filed a claim against the at-fault party before he died, that claim ends with his death.

However, if the decedent had filed a claim after suffering a tailbone fracture in a slip and fall before the accident, a personal representative could continue that claim.

What is the difference between a survival action and a wrongful death suit?

A wrongful death suit is a claim the surviving family members (e.g., spouse, children, parents) bring to recover compensation for what they have lost, e.g., lost wages, medical bills, funeral expenses, loss of support, loss of consortium, etc.

A wrongful death suit directly benefits the surviving family members, while a survival action benefits the decedent’s estate.

Who can bring a survival action?

A personal representative can file a survival action on behalf of the deceased’s estate. Aside from  There are no specifics on who can be personal representatives, but they are often close family members. In some cases, the decedent may have specified a person in his/her will.

What can the estate recover?

The estate can recover what the decedent would have recovered had s/he lived. This might include: 

  • Costs of medical care
  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning capacity (if the decedent had to take a lower-paying job because of the accident) 

Pain and suffering and punitive damages are not usually available in a survival action. The damages awarded in the case go to the decedent’s personal estate. Then, the insurer or court will distribute that money to family members per the provisions of the will or intestate laws. 

Where can I get help exploring my options in Fort Lauderdale? 

If your loved one was in the middle of litigation at the time of his/her death, you may be able to continue the case and recover the compensation your loved one’s estate needs to pay medical bills and cover lost wages.

Losing a loved one is never easy, but our team can help your family get justice. To find out more about filing a survival action or wrongful death lawsuit in Florida contact the attorneys of Coffey Trial Law. To schedule a consultation with one of our Fort Lauderdale attorneys, call 954-541-3194 today.