DC Survival Action Case Process 

In the DC survival action case process, a person needs a death certificate and they need a representative for the estate, either an executor under the will or a personal representative. That individual needs to hire a qualified attorney and once they are retained, they do their investigation. If they find and believe that the case has merit then the person will file a lawsuit.

Establishing Liability in DC Survival Action Cases

If somebody passed away and they cannot be a witness, a person needs to look for any investigative reports, any investigative reports, any investigative documents that help them establish what actually happened. Once they establish what happened, a person needs to get the police report, witness testimony or expert recreation, and then they can move forward in the DC survival action case process.

Elements Proven

The elements that need to be proved depends on what kind of case it is. If a person deals with a car accident case, they need to prove the negligence was the approximate cause of the survival action is also wrongful death. If it is a medical malpractice case, they need to prove the departure from the accepted medical standards and that departure was the approximate cause of the pain and suffering and subsequent death. A lot depends on what the underlying claim is but a person needs to go through what the claim is, and determine what the loss is.

After Liability is Established

There are cases where there is a clear liability, and there are cases where there is not. Typically, what the courts do is make a demand on the insurance company and they sometimes settle the case. If there is a situation where the liability is in dispute then they are generally not going to be able to engage in productive settlement discussions because of the law of contributory negligence.

Civil Court vs. Private Negotiation

Insurance companies usually decide whether a survival action is dealt with in civil court or in a private negotiation. By and large, if the individual who a person wants to bring a claim against is insured then the insurance company will decide if they want to fight the claim or if they want to pay the claim. Also, the personal representative of the estate also decides as well. If a person is in a situation where the insurance company wants to talk but the personal representative does not, then they could also decide that they would rather take the case to court.

Factors Influencing Decision

The factors influencing where the case is handled is determined by how clear the liability is. If there are legitimate issues of fault, the DC survival action case is less likely to be settled. If there is no real speeding, someone stopped at a red light, and they get rear-ended by a truck or trailer, then that is how the cause of action accrues. There is no dispute over liability. In addition, the bigger the DC survival action case, the longer of a process it will be. Typically, insurance companies do not want to pay the full value on big cases early on just because they have adequate insurance. They might want to fight the case, so it is important to get an experienced lawyer who knows how to challenge insurance companies in order to recover.

How Long Does a Survival Action Take?

The biggest factors that determine the length of time of a survival action is whether there is a dispute on liability, whether there is a dispute as to whether someone suffered a compensable injury on a survival action, and whether there is a conscious pain and suffering claim, but there is the dispute about it. The latter is the type of a case that will take longer because both sides might have to get forensic pathologist or they might get an expert who can say whether or not someone was actually conscious of the pain and suffering.

The length of time of a DC survival action process also depends on the insurance companies or the personal representative. If both sides are being reasonable and liability is not disputed, then the case could be handled reasonably quickly. Otherwise, it could take upwards to four or five years.

Important Actions to Take

An important action to take is to gather relevant documents and present them to a lawyer. If there is an autopsy, get the related documents, if there is a will, gather the will, and if there is any material change in circumstances, a person wants to keep their attorney involved. In addition, wrongful death and survival actions go hand and hand. A person does not want to get one lawyer for wrongful death and another lawyer for survival. A person wants all the claims handled by one attorney. They want to be candid with that person’s attorney because the more their attorney knows about it, the more prepared they can be to handle the case.

DC Survival Actions