Once a person sustains an injury caused by another person or persons, the law recognizes that “a cause of action” has been created. That cause of action, the legal right to seek redress in a court of law, has a life of its own. In fact, it’s possible for a cause of action to outlive the plaintiff and/or the defendant. If your loved one had grounds for a personal injury lawsuit and subsequently passed away — from the original injuries or from an unrelated cause — that right to sue becomes an asset of your loved one’s estate. The estate representative can decide whether to proceed with a lawsuit, settle or let the claim lapse. At Rush, Hannula, Harkins & Kyler, L.L.P., we understand the difficult decisions families face in the aftermath of a loved one’s death. Our client-centered practice puts you at the forefront of all decisions regarding your litigation. Since 1959, we’ve helped representatives of deceased plaintiffs make the appropriate decision for their families regarding survival lawsuits.
While wrongful death attempts to compensate family members for the loss of a loved one, a survival action is the continuation of a personal injury lawsuit that the injured party had filed prior to death. The survival action seeks compensation for noneconomic losses personal to the deceased, including:
The eligible beneficiaries are the same as those in a wrongful death claim. It is also worth noting that the injured plaintiff need not have died as a result of the injury event cited in the original lawsuit. Therefore, if a plaintiff files a personal injury lawsuit after sustaining a broken hip in a premises liability accident and later dies from an unrelated heart attack, the right to prosecute passes to the person’s estate.
The estate representative must file the survival action within the statute of limitations for the deceased person’s injury. For most personal injury cases, the time limit to bring a lawsuit is three years, although a court sometimes allows extensions in cases where the plaintiff did not know until later that an injury had occurred or was incapacitated and unable to file.
If someone’s negligence claimed the life of your loved one, you may be eligible for compensation. Talk to an experienced wrongful death attorney at Rush, Hannula, Harkins & Kyler, L.L.P. To schedule a free consultation and case evaluation, call us at 253.250.4516 or contact our office online.
"Client was disabled from working in prior profession after sustaining a severe closed head injury and brain trauma in an automobile accident on Interstate 5. $7,845,000. "
"Pedestrian client was struck by semi-truck, and the trailer wheels rolled over client’s body causing severe injury. $1,145,000. "
"Client was involved in a head-on collision when a bus crossed the center line. Client suffered a severe closed head injury preventing him from returning to his previous employment. $884,998. "
"Client was involved in serious head-on collision with uninsured motorist while on-the-job, resulting in physical injury and posttraumatic stress disorder. Client can no longer work as a commercial truck driver. $708,000. "
"Client was a rear seat passenger in a vehicle that was involved in an automobile accident. Client was severely injured as the result of a defective seatbelt, while the other three occupants of the vehicle sustained only minor injuries. $650,000. "
"Client was killed in automobile accident caused by defendant’s failure to yield the right-of-way. $650,000. "
"Minor client was on his way to school and was struck by a vehicle while crossing the street in a marked crosswalk. Defendant driver had pulled into oncoming lane to pass another vehicle and struck client, causing serious injuries. $500,000. "
"Client was killed as a result of an in-cab fuel tank, which caught fire after an automobile accident. $350,000. "
"Client riding a bicycle was struck by a motorist who failed to yield the right-of-way. Client sustained numerous injuries, including a closed head injury. $120,000. "
"I have been a client of Dan Kyler’s since 1996. Having had numerous car accidents, I rely upon Rush, Hannula, Harkins & Kyler to help me through them. The most obscure questions have been answered and help is given on all levels. Thanks."
"John Wilson demonstrated his professionalism by keeping us current on our case, explaining our options, giving us realistic expectations and demonstrating the highest level of ethics and integrity beyond reproach. We have the highest confidence that we were well represented."
"Dan Hannula’s hard work helped to settle my auto accident case. "
"Having a motorcycle accident was bad enough, let alone dealing with insurance companies. John Wilson and his staff made everything easy to understand and hassle free. "
"I am extremely satisfied with the service I experienced with this firm and I would recommend them to anyone that needs legal representation. Michael Fisher and his staff are great people. "
"Vern Harkins perseverance and hard work made it possible to get the maximum settlement from the insurance company. I know he had my interest in mind as demonstrated by his actions. "
"The office staff were courteous, pleasant and kept me informed as to what was going on throughout the whole ordeal. "
"Molly Crowley is a very professional and knowledgeable lawyer. I felt I was very well represented!! "
"Molly Crowley was knowledgeable, kept me informed every step of the way and just did a great job! "
"We got a fair settlement and were treated with respect and dignity throughout the whole process. -Blake W. "