Survival Statute

Updated: 09 June 2023

What Does Survival Statute Mean?

A survival statute refers to a law that preserves an injured party’s right to file a suit for personal damages to the victim before their passing against a negligent party. Moreover, in case the latter has filed a claim before their death, the statute allows their estate or legal representative to take over and pursue the action.

Insuranceopedia Explains Survival Statute

Survival statutes vary according to state and typically entitle the deceased party’s estate to damages occurring before the former’s death. In other words, they allow the estate to seek damages the deceased could have claimed, had they not passed. As opposed to a wrongful death action, which concerns the economic effect of the death on the beneficiaries, a survival action pertains to various damages the deceased suffered before death, such as emotional distress, medical expenses, and pain and suffering.

As there is not a standard or objective way to determine the costs of non-physical damages like emotional trauma and pain and suffering, insurance companies use a variety of methods to determine a suitable amount.

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