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Columbia, MO Survival Actions Lawyer

If your loved one is injured in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence and then dies from those injuries, you are left reeling with grief and questioning how your family will carry on financially if the decedent was a significant provider. State law permits you to file a wrongful death action, but you may also be eligible to file a survivor action.

AW Smith Law has decades of experience advocating for families left devastated by the untimely death of loved ones in accidents caused by others. Recovering a damages award while you are grieving is a unique type of stressor that we can help you overcome. A Columbia, MO survival actions lawyer is available for a free consultation to consider your family’s options.

What is a Survival Action?

A survival action mirrors a personal injury lawsuit. If a loved one would have prevailed by proving negligence in a personal injury lawsuit if they had lived, the action survives their death and allows the damages to be recovered despite it. Recoverable damages are those suffered from the time of the injury until the death from those injuries. Damages also mirror what is available in personal injury lawsuits. These include economic losses for medical bills, lost present and future wages, and property damage. Non-economic damages can be awarded for the pain and suffering the decedent suffered. An attorney in Columbia could help a family understand possible compensation in a survival action.

Filing a Survival Action

Generally, the personal representative named in the decedent’s will as the executor files the survivor action. If the death is intestate, without a will, the court, under Missouri Revised Statute § 473.110, will name an administrator who is usually a close relative of the decedent. The order the court considers when granting letters of administration, meaning who will serve as personal administrator, is:

  • Surviving spouse, adult children, or parents
  • The court’s choice of another heir deemed the best to manage and preserve the decedent’s estate
  • If no heirs are suitable to the court or none wish to serve as administrator, the court can appoint a professional administrator or bank
  • If an heir who is 18 or older and of sound mind is disqualified as a personal representative, they can nominate a suitable person for the position
  • If more than one person shares a familial priority to serve as personal representative, those qualified must agree on who serves in the role

Unlike a wrongful death action in which the family can agree or the court can decide on how to split an award and the money is paid to them directly, compensation from a survival action is awarded to the decedent’s estate to be distributed according to the will under intestate laws. Our attorneys understand this court process and could help an executor file a survival action in Columbia.

Intestate Laws in a Survival Action Award

State intestate laws determine who inherits a decedent’s estate if there is no will. If the decedent is married at the time of death and has living children, the spouse receives 50 percent of the estate and the children, no matter how many, split the remaining 50 percent. If the surviving spouse is the biological parent of the children, the spouse also receives an initial $20,000 from the estate. If the decedent leaves a spouse but no children or children and no spouse, those heirs inherit the entire estate.

A Columbia, MO Survival Actions Attorney is a Family’s Financial Protector

When your loved one succumbs to a personal injury, you may feel inconsolable grief but also anger because someone is responsible for the death because of their negligence. If your loved one was due compensation for a personal injury lawsuit, your family is due compensation in a survival action.

The attorneys at AW Smith Law assume the role of your family’s financial protector by winning the compensation you are entitled to when your lives are upended. When a financial provider dies unexpectedly, call a Columbia survival actions lawyer for a free consultation.