A car accident can bring various life-altering consequences, including injury, disfigurement and psychological trauma. However, the worst outcome may be the death of a loved one.
True, the family can file a wrongful death suit for their losses, but what about the emotional and economic losses the deceased suffered? For that, the family will file a survival action with their claim.
What is the purpose of a survival action?
Sadly, over 1,000 people die every year from traffic fatalities in Tennessee. A survival action allows the family members to pursue legal recourse on behalf of a deceased loved one. It is typically applicable when the deceased individual experiences harm or injuries that lead to an untimely death.
Family members can file a survival action when that harm was due to someone else’s negligence, intentional wrongdoing or a defective product. By pursuing such legal action, families can address the consequences of the harm and ensure that responsible parties offer some recourse for their actions.
Who may file a survival action in Tennessee?
In Tennessee, an individual personal representative of the deceased person’s estate must initiate the survival action. The court appoints this individual, who acts on behalf of the estate and the beneficiaries. Leaving the survival action to one appointed representative ensures a structured and more expedient legal process.
The beneficiaries comprise the immediate family members and anyone else who is in the deceased’s will. These parties typically stand to benefit from the legal proceedings that the personal representative initiates.
Unlike some other states, a survival action in Tennessee does not come as a separate claim to the wrongful death suit, which also simplifies the procedure somewhat. However, the claimant has to be sure to correctly present the losses that the deceased suffered to be able to claim those damages.
The process can be challenging, especially during the trying time of handling the arrangements for the deceased’s estate. Tennessee only gives families a year to handle the process, making it important to take quick action. When the family ensures that a personal representative does so, they may be able to address the financial and emotional impact of the loss.