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Survival actions vs. wrongful death lawsuits

On Behalf of | Dec 28, 2018 | Wrongful Death

Losing a loved one in Ocean County is never an easy thing to deal with, especially when you are involved in the management and administration of their affairs. Many in your same situation have come to us here at Fedele & Honschke Attorneys at Law, LLC questioning how to handle any unresolved legal issues that their families and friends left them (even those that were related to their deaths). If you also have the same question, then you might think that a wrongful death lawsuit is the right course of action to take. Yet that depends on the unique circumstances of your case. 

Say that your loved one was injured due to the negligence of another. While not immediately fatal, those injuries ultimately hastened their death. In such a case, a survival action may be a more appropriate form of recourse. Per Section 2A.15-3 of New Jersey’s Revised Statutes, any cause of action that one might have had while alive (including for circumstances ultimately related to their deaths) survives them and passes to their executors or personal representatives. What this means is that if you are the executor of your loved one’s estate, you can commence that action in their stead (provided you initiate it within two years of their death). 

This may still sound an awful lot like a wrongful death lawsuit, yet the major difference is that the potential reward you can recover is limited to only what your loved one would have recovered if they were still alive. This includes funeral expenses as well as damages they might have recovered during their lifetimes. 

You can learn more about the nuances of legal action related to death by continuing to explore our site.