Wrongful Death vs. Survival Action


According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), unintentional injuries are the fourth-largest cause of death in the United States. If a loved one was killed due to someone else’s negligence, you know that your life will never be the same. Not only can the grief associated with the loss be overwhelming, but the financial impact can create devastating long-term effects.

Fortunately, personal injury laws in the state of Florida provide legal remedies for victims of negligence. When this negligence ends in death, compensation may be pursued through wrongful death claims or survival actions.

What is Wrongful Death?

A wrongful death claim is made on behalf of the surviving family members of the deceased. This must be brought forth by the personal representative of the deceased’s estate on behalf of their children, surviving spouse, and/or other relatives. The lawsuit may request compensation for loss of income, loss of companionship, emotional trauma, the cost of funeral expenses, the loss of parental support, and other losses. The dollar amount of damages suffered may vary from one survivor to the next.

What is Survival Action?

A survival action is made on behalf of the deceased. It seeks compensation for the losses and suffering the injured party endured before they died. In this case, compensation may be pursued for medical bills, loss of income, and pain and suffering. The law allows the decedent’s personal representative to seek compensation for all financial losses the victim would be entitled to if they had lived.

The amount awarded may vary depending on the symptoms the victim suffered, the severity of the pain, and the length of time between when the injury occurred and when the victim died.  

Lawsuit Limitations

Florida law does not allow for the recovery of damages for both a survival action and wrongful death. However, you can pursue both at the same time and decide which option is most advantageous when you go to trial. However, it’s important to note that wrongful death cases are often settled out of court. If the at-fault party has liability insurance, it may be possible to negotiate a fair agreement without having to worry about the hassle of a legal trial.

Consult with Our Legal Team

When a loved one dies at the hands of someone who was negligent, a lawsuit may hold them accountable while also providing the surviving family members with some financial security. Hiring an experienced attorney can help you pursue the right type of compensation and improve your chances of getting the outcome you deserve. Start exploring your options by scheduling a free case evaluation.