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What Is a Survival Action in Georgia?

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Posted on September 12, 2022

Losing a loved one is one of life’s most painful experiences. In addition to grief and sadness, many families face significant financial hardships after someone’s death. They may need to pay for their loved one’s final medical bills, cope with the loss of an income earner, and pay for funeral arrangements.

If someone else’s actions caused their loved one’s death, family members could pursue a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault party. However, if the deceased had already filed a lawsuit before his or her passing, the family may be able to pursue a survival action.

What Is a Survival Action in Georgia?

A survival action is a lawsuit that a deceased person could have brought if he or she was still alive. If a plaintiff files a claim in court and dies before it reaches a resolution, his or her family members could continue the case and recover compensation for the damages that the deceased could have claimed.

In a survival action, the deceased person’s death does not have to be caused by the defendant in the lawsuit. For example, if a plaintiff files a personal injury claim after an accident on someone’s property but later dies of a heart attack, his or her family could still pursue a survival action for the lawsuit in progress.

The Difference Between Survival Actions and Wrongful Death Claims

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In Georgia, a wrongful death lawsuit provides a way for family members to hold negligent parties accountable for their loved one’s passing. If someone’s negligent, reckless, or intentional actions led to someone else’s death, his or her family could file this type of claim and recover compensation for damages like final medical bills and funeral expenses.

On the other hand, a survival action is an extension of an existing legal claim. In many cases, the deceased files a personal injury lawsuit against the person who caused his or her final injury or illness but dies before the claim concludes. However, not all survival actions involve wrongful death. If you find yourself in this situation, it is important to speak with an Athens wrongful death lawyer about your optimal legal options.

Who Is Eligible to File a Survival Action in Georgia?

The personal representative of the deceased’s estate is the only person who may file a survival action on his or her behalf. This representative may be the deceased’s executor or administrator and is often a member of the deceased’s family. If the deceased did not name a personal representative prior to his or her passing, the court can designate a representative on his or her behalf.

Do You Need a Lawyer for a Survival Action?

Survival actions in Georgia can be very complex, and it can be difficult to know what to do next. If you recently lost a loved one who was in the process of filing a lawsuit, it is important to speak with a Georgia personal injury and wrongful death attorney.

An Athens injury lawyer can evaluate your family’s situation and help you take your first steps toward filing a survival action. He or she will work diligently to recover a fair settlement and help you overcome common financial challenges. As soon as possible following your loved one’s death, contact an attorney to discuss your legal options.