My husband, as the result of his car accident, suffered terrible pain for weeks before he succumbed to his injuries and his life ended. Doesn’t he deserve something for his pain and suffering?

The answer is yes. It can be said that the Wrongful Death Act is one for the protection and compensation of the survivors; meanwhile, the survivor statute affords the deceased the right to compensation. Although the deceased will not be allowed a recovery for those aspects of his/her life which he/she will miss out on in the future, he/she will be able to collect for the pain and suffering, lost wages, and out-of-pocket expenses that took place prior the his or her death. This is called a survivor action and it is structured to compensate for losses suffered by decedent.

This claim of action will be instituted by the decedent’s estate. The heirs of the victim will be the resulting beneficiaries of the victim’s estate. A distinguishable difference between a recovery made in a Wrongful Death action and a Survivor action are that the creditors of the deceased can collect against a Survivor recovery but cannot collect against that of the Wrongful Death recovery.

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