When negligence occurs and leads to an injury, the person who failed to use reasonable care deserves to be held responsible for harms and losses they caused. But when someone passes away before they get their day in court, that shouldn’t mean the end of their story. For that reason, Indiana allows for survival actions that allow these cases to still be pursued after the victim’s death. So what exactly do survival actions cover, and how do they differ from a wrongful death lawsuit?
Survival Actions in an Indiana Wrongful Death Case
Survival actions are in place to ensure that claims can still be pursued in the event of a plaintiff’s death, specifically when the death was not caused by the act of negligence. For example, if a victim’s arm is broken during a car accident, they may choose to pursue a claim for damages. If that victim then passed away due to a separate cause, like a heart attack or stroke, his or her claim survives after death.
It’s important to note that a person’s claim can be brought as both a survival action and a wrongful death action at the same time. This is because it may be unclear if the negligence caused the death or not. For example, if someone needs surgery after a car accident to fix a broken arm, and complications from the surgery lead to his or her death, it may not be clear which type of claim is appropriate. A jury will determine if the case is a survival action or wrongful death in Indiana.
Survival actions are an important legal element for those injured in an accident. However, they can be tricky to maneuver on your own. If your loved one was the victim of a personal injury , contact the attorneys at Cline Farrell Christie Lee & Bell to learn how we can help you.