What is Survival Action in Louisville Car Accident Cases?

There are many types of cases that can fall under the category of personal injury and survival action cases are one such type. Louisville car accident lawyers understand these cases and what type of damages can be obtained from them. Read on to learn about survival actions and how they differ from wrongful death.

Understanding Survival Action

Survival actions are a type of civil case usually handled by personal injury lawyers. These cases are brought when the accident victim survived for a short period of time following the accident and then perished as a result of their injuries. The length of time of that period between injury and death could be minutes, hours, or, if they are hospitalized first, even days.  Survival action claims can vary from a wrongful death-type case where the action is brought by the victim’s family (child, parents, spouse). A survival action can also be brought by an estate representative. They can also differ in the type of recoverable damages that can be awarded. Survival actions can be brought against the liable party when someone dies in an auto accident or other type of personal injury case.

Types of Damages Available in Survival Action Claims

There are several different types of damages that can be awarded in a survival action. Incurred expenses such as medical bills and lost income are usually the first type of damages to be quantified, followed by punitive damages such as pain and suffering (per Kentucky Revised Statutes Chapter 411.130).

Other factors that can add to the damages include consideration for the length of time that the victim survived before death and how high their pain levels were during that time period. A Louisville car accident lawyer understands the damages and can make sure you claim everything you’re entitled to.

Who Can Bring a Survival Action Claim?

If you are looking for car accident lawyers, Louisville has several to choose from. You’ll want to speak to someone who understands survival action and has represented many clients in these cases and has a proven track record of securing good outcomes. Those that can bring a survival action claim are the representatives of the deceased’s estate. These are usually called the executors of the estate and would have been named in the deceased’s will or been appointed to that role by a court. All claims are made by the estate and not by a survivor and the money that is won from a claim is paid into the estate to pay back medical costs and other debts. Anything left over goes to the survivors in a disbursement.

Here’s an example scenario:

 Mary is the executor of Jessica Tate’s Estate and Ms. Tate’s husband, Jason Tate, is the surviving spouse. Jason cannot bring a suit for survival action in Kentucky, but such a case could be brought by Mary. Should Mary receive a settlement in the case, that money is paid into the Tate Estate and would be first used to pay debts, replace lost income, etc. There is $100,000 left over. These remaining funds would be distributed to the survivors such as Jason once all the debts are paid.

Examples of When Survival Action Claims Might Arise

There are many types of accidents that can result in a survival action claim such as workplace accidents, medical malpractice and car accidents. Most personal injury accidents can be a survival action case if the victim dies as a result of injuries from the accident. One example of a survival action case is someone injuring themselves by falling at their home and then going to the emergency room at their local hospital. Let’s say, in this example, they are seen and treated at the hospital and then, on the way home, are struck by a reckless driver and then, die as a result of their injuries from the car accident. The death had nothing to do with the fall that originally sent them to the hospital, but the surviving family will have to pay the charges that resulted from the emergency room visit. A survival claim can include the emergency room debt in a civil case against the driver that hit the deceased and caused their death.


Car accident lawyers in Louisville are always ready to sit down and talk about compensation claims for injuries and death. Survival actions are one such case that can be brought against anyone causing death to another party through an accident for the purpose of settling that estate’s debts, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Louisville car accident lawyers who know Kentucky law can guide those seeking compensation. They can also help them understand what can, and what can’t, be included in the damages.

Let Sam Aguiar Injury Lawyers Guide You with Your Survival Action Claim!

We provide a free case assessment to any potential client where we will go over all the information, advice on how best to proceed and give you peace of mind without financial obligation. We’re experts in personal injury, survival actions, slip & fall, auto accidents, and have years of experience. Contact us or come by our office for an appointment and see what your case could be worth.