One of the most common questions that we receive at Swartz Law is, what if a person who files a personal injury lawsuit dies? What happens to the case? More importantly, who receives the settlement if the court awards it? What happens if the accused in the lawsuit succumbs to their harm and dies before they can pay a settlement? First of all, the whole lawsuit turns into a survival action. Otherwise, the right to attempt the case along with claiming the settlement fairly deserves automatically goes in favor of the claimant’s estate. 

Many of you may start to wonder what a “survival action” is and who receives the settlement in this case. Not to worry! Here’s a quick brief to go through and understand the facts clearly. 

Typically, survival action focuses on the settlement for the suffering and pain experienced by the decedent. It protects the rights of the deceased at the moment of death, including the right to attain compensation for the injuries they sustained due to someone else’s negligence. Remember, survival actions are considerably different from the standard wrongful death claims, which we will discuss further in this blog. 

As mentioned earlier, the decedent’s estate is held responsible for continuing survival actions. This normally means that the personal representative or your hired wrongful death attorney in Boston can push on with the lawsuit and receive the settlement for the claims. 

With this, all proceeds in survival actions are subject to legacy and federal state taxes. This clearly means that the settlement amount can also be used to pay any financial obligations of the decedent. If something is left after paying all the credit and tax obligations, the estate can disburse the amount as per the decedent’s testament. 

Another important question followed by all of this is: Can any decedent’s family members still file a claim against the defendant? Again, the answer would be “yes”, but only through a wrongful death lawsuit filed under the supervision of an established personal injury lawyer in Boston

So What Is the Major Difference Between Survival Action and a Wrongful Death Lawsuit? 

As we have already explained above, survival actions are completely inclined towards the decedent’s right to get the maximum compensation for their injury. On the other hand, a wrongful death lawsuit merely addresses the right of a suffering family seeking monetary damages for the death of their beloved. The wrongful death case filing helps them get compensation for their losses, expenses related to pain, medical bills, and even funeral bills. 

Being a reputable personal injury law firm, we completely understand that no amount of money can ease the pain of losing a loved one. However, a sufficient settlement can alleviate the financial burden of the surviving family members. 

Who Gets the Compensation in a Wrongful Death Claim? 

The particularities vary in each state, and the same is applicable in Boston as well. Here the federal law typically gives the right to the victim’s spouse, parents, children, or dependents. In the case of same-sex or common-law marriage, you have to ask your lawyer whether you can file a claim lawsuit or not. Likewise, if the decedent has no legal inheritor, no one else can file the lawsuit, and the accused can walk free. 

Does Hiring a Dedicated Wrongful Death Attorney in Boston Make Any Difference?

It goes without saying that managing survival actions or other lawsuits is not easy, especially in the case of wrongful death lawsuits. However, having a dedicated law firm by your side can help you get compensation for the damages you have recovered, and that too with no taxes. Therefore, there is a high possibility that fighting for maximum settlement is something that your family deserves for sure. Also, holding the accused accountable for their mistake/negligence becomes important too. To manage and keep everything organized, you certainly need to have an experienced, capable, and fierce attorney. So, do that first!

For more information on our services, arrange an appointment with one of attorneys in our Boston office by calling (617) 742-1900, or toll-free at 1-800-545-3732.


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