Norristown Survival Actions Lawyer

The basics of personal injury law in Pennsylvania are simple: if you got hurt because someone else acted irresponsibly around you, you can sue that person and demand money for losses you’ve suffered because of your injury. However, other people can sometimes file suit on another person’s behalf if the injured person isn’t capable of filing suit on their own—for example if they’re too young to represent themselves in court or have a degenerative disease that affects their ability to think and communicate.

As any seasoned wrongful death attorney can tell you, this same principle applies to situations where a person dies before they can file suit over an injury they suffered at someone else’s hands. However, pursuing a survival action can be far from simple, and you’ll want help from a winning Norristown survival actions lawyer from start to finish of the legal process.

What Makes a Survival Action Different from a Wrongful Death Claim?

When someone dies as a direct result of another person’s negligent or illegal act, the deceased person’s family members can demand compensation through a wrongful death claim for losses they’ve already suffered and expect to suffer in the future because of their loved one’s death. However, a wrongful death claim can’t include losses the deceased person suffered between their accident and their eventual death due to that accident. It also can’t cover losses someone suffered in one accident that they weren’t able to sue over before they passed away due to a second unrelated accident.

A survival action allows for the survival of someone’s cause of legal action past the point of their death. This sort of claim can demand compensation on behalf of the deceased person’s estate for things like:

  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Emotional anguish
  • Loss of life’s pleasures
  • Medical bills
  • Lost work wages
  • Property damage

Any money recovered is used to pay off outstanding debts for the estate and then given to beneficiaries based on instructions in the deceased person’s will or, if there aren’t any such instructions, following the laws of intestate succession.

Rules for Survival Actions in Norristown

The only person who can legally file a survival action is the personal representative—sometimes called the executor or administrator—for the deceased person. Typically, this is a close family member or friend nominated in the deceased person’s will to manage their affairs after they pass away. When there isn’t a will or the will doesn’t name anyone to fill this role, a court can nominate someone to do it.

The personal representative generally has to start the litigation process for a survival action in Norristown with the help of a lawyer within two years of when the deceased person actually suffered the injury at the heart of the lawsuit. This is notably different from wrongful death claims, since the two-year filing period starts on the date of the deceased person’s death regardless of when they first got hurt.

Get Help from a Norristown Survival Actions Attorney

Survival actions are complicated for many reasons. They can be an important part of making your family as financially whole as possible after a tragic accident, as well as to protecting your best interests in the years and decades to come.

Ostroff Godshall Injury and Accident Lawyers has fought for families like yours many times across the Commonwealth, and our team is ready to do whatever it takes to get you paid what you need for the losses you should never have suffered. Call us today to learn how a Norristown survival actions lawyer can help you.