What is the Difference Between a Wrongful Death Claim and Survival Action Claim in Pennsylvania?

Oftentimes, when tragedy strikes and a loved one perishes as a result of another’s careless acts, negligence or unlawful violence, the family of the deceased will seek damages provided under Wrongful Death and Survival Action statutes. While the two claims are usually intertwined in a lawsuit, it is worth being informed as to how each claim provides an avenue of compensation for the deceased’s family.


Damages under a Survival Action relate particularly to the Deceased. Generally, compensation will be rendered under this cause of action as a result of the terrible pain and suffering the Deceased incurred before his or her ultimate demise.


Damages under a Wrongful Death Action are for the losses suffered by the Deceased’s family (spouse, children, parent or personal representative). This cause of action provides more than just recovery for funeral and medical expenses, but also allows recovery for the loss of a loved one’s support, comfort and services (including financial support the deceased would have otherwise provided).


42 Pa.C.S.A. § 8302 (Pennsylvania Survival Action Statute)

42 Pa.C.S.A. § 8301 (Pennsylvania Wrongful Death Statute)

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