Estate Planning and Personal Injury
Arellanez Legal is an experienced estate planning law firm. We have helped many individuals and families protect their assets and plan for the future. Estate planning is about preparing for the unknown and making sure that private property is distributed according to the intent of the owner upon their death. Upon their death they will legally be referred to as the decedent and their wishes must be followed.
An experienced personal injury attorney should be familiar with estate planning law because of a legal cause of action known as a survival action.
Survival Actions In California.
Generally, when someone passes away they loose their right to file a legal claim to recover damages for their injuries. However, California Code of Civil Procedure ("CCP") § 377.30 grants the personal representative or successor of the decedent the ability to file a claim if the decedent's death was caused by the negligence or inaction of a third party.
Wrongful death is governed by CCP § 377.60, and allows beneficiaries to seek compensation for the death of their loved ones if they qualify as a beneficiary. As such, wrongful death action and survival action are different.
A Survival action seeks compensation for damages related to medical expenses, lost wages and property damage on behalf of the decedent's estate. It is possible to file both a wrongful death action and survival action.
What Damages Are Recoverable In A Survival Action?
As stated above, the representative of the decedent can seek economic damages. Normally, non-economic damages related to disfigurement, lost of quality of life, and pain and suffering are not available. However, on October 1, 2021, California Governor Newsom approved Senate Bill No. 477 which amended the CCP to permit damages for the decedent's pain and suffering or disfigurement. Senate Bill No. 477, now codified CCP § 377.34 as amended will take effect on January 1, 2022.
When Must A Survival Action Be Filed?
For a survival action, the time to file a claim is governed by CCP § 366.1. The estate has two years from the date of the injury, or six months after death, whichever comes later to file a claim.
Contacting An Experienced Survival Action Attorney.
If injured It's very important to discuss your claim with a qualified attorney. At Arellanez Legal we also have the best nurse-paralegals on staff and the most experienced attorney. Contact Arellanez Legal by calling (951)888-2464 for a free consultation or by providing a date and time that will work for you via our easy-to-use contact page.