Difference Between Survival Actions and Wrongful Death Claims

survivor rights_fettermanLosing a loved one is incredibly hard and can forever impact your life. Surviving family members may be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the negligent party after their loved one has died. They may also be eligible to file a survival action. These types of lawsuits are different and survivors have differing legal responsibilities and rights. Understanding the difference is key to collecting the money you need to help you and your family after such a devastating loss.

What is a Wrongful Death Claim

A wrongful death claim allows the estate of the deceased to file a lawsuit that seeks to compensate family members for their losses. Spouses, children and other qualifying family members may be able to collect money to offset the costs and damages associated with losing a loved one. Loss of income, loss of future income, loss of consortium, and loss of guidance are all examples of damages that could be awarded after a wrongful death.

There are strict laws in place that determine who can file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the deceased’s estate and what type of damages are allowed in a wrongful death case. In order to be awarded damages, surviving family members must prove that they have suffered loss of support financially, as well as emotionally. Minor children will receive loss of support through the age of 18 or through college if the deceased’s estate can prove that they would have contributed to their college education. A widow can receive loss of support if they can prove that their spouse supported them financially during their marriage.

What are Survival Actions

In Florida, survival actions are claims that the deceased would’ve been able to file if they were still alive. These claims may be brought by a surviving family member but only specific damages are able to be recovered. Examples of survival action damages include pain and suffering, loss of income until their death, medical expenses, and sometimes punitive damages. In Florida, however, survivors must choose between filing a survival action or a wrongful death claim.

Survivor rights are difficult and often complex. Grieving family members may not always understand the rights they have and what legal action is best. As such, it is important to discuss your case with an experienced and compassionate West Palm Beach survivor rights lawyer immediately. Your lawyer can review the details of your case and help you choose the legal path that is best for you and your family.

Contact our West Palm Beach Survivor Rights Lawyers Today

Our wrongful death lawyers at Fetterman & Associates understand that grieving families often have more questions than answers during this traumatic time. That’s why we are here to help make sense of the legal decisions you may be facing. As a survivor, you may be eligible to seek a survival action or a wrongful death claim and knowing the difference is key to collecting the money you need.

At Fetterman & Associates, we offer compassionate and aggressive legal representation for all survivors and family members. Our North Palm Beach survivor rights attorneys are here to help. Call us today at (561) 983-4584 for a free initial consultation and review of your case.

Additional Reading

What Does Personal Injury Really Mean?

3 Most Common Questions Asked About Wrongful Death Lawsuits in Florida


What our Cleints Say


Patricia D.

My friend told me you were a great law firm. You handled my case great, you guys are wonderful. You answered all my questions. When I called I always get…
Client Testimonial

Sandra Z.

It couldn’t have been handled any better. If I ever, ever need an attorney it would be Mr. Fetterman. The staff working with him, Lucy went above and beyond, she…

Katrilla S.

Awesome, great job! Kept me informed, kept me in the loop of everything. They were really more concerned about my treatment then a settlement, which really spoke volumes to me.…



648 US Highway One
North Palm Beach, FL 33408
Phone: 561-983-4771


1225 SE Port Saint Lucie Boulevard,
Port St. Lucie, FL 34952
Phone: 772-344-5515

Get Help Now

Contact Us For a FREE Case Evaluation