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Understanding the Survival Act in Illinois

The Survival Act of Illinois, 755 ILCS 5/27-6 was enacted to preserve causes of action that accrued and existed before the death of the plaintiff.  Under the Common Law, while the plaintiff was alive after an injury, a claim could be made for medical expenses, lost earning, and pain and suffering.  Prior to the creation of the Survival Act, the law was such that these causes of action died with the plaintiff.  The Survival Act created a way for the representative of the decedent to preserve the actions for medical expenses, lost earnings, and pain and suffering from the time of the occurrence to the time of death.

The Survival Act of Illinois is actually found within the Probate Act.   Section 27-6 (Actions which survive) states, in part, that  in addition to the actions which survive by the common law, the following also survive: …actions to recover damages for an injury to the person(except slander and libel), actions to recovery damages for an injury to real or personal property.

Medical expenses are defined as the reasonable expense of necessary medical care, treatment, and services received and the present cash value of reasonable expenses of medical care, treatment and services reasonably certain to be received in the future.

Lost earnings are defined as the value of time, earnings, profits, salaries, benefits lost and the present cash value of the time, earnings, profits, salaries, benefits reasonably certain to be lost in the future.

Pain and suffering is defined as the pain and suffering experienced as a result of the injuries.

The Survival Act of Illinois allows the dececdent’s estate to recover the same compensatory damages that the decedent would have been entitled to prior to the time of death. However, funeral expenses are recoverable under a separate cause of action.  When Kurasch & Klein files a lawsuit involving the death of the plaintiff, where the plaintiff’s death was caused by injuries from the occurrence, the lawsuit includes at least three counts to every cause of action.  The lawsuit should have a count for each the Wrongful Death Act,  the Survival Act, and a count for funeral expenses.

When dealing with the death of a family member or relative, it is important to have knowledgeable, caring, and thoughtful attorneys to answer your questions and fight for your rights. At Kurasch & Klein, Ltd we will pursue all of the items of damages to which you are entitled and we always encourage our clients to call any time that they have a question about their case.  We believe that you should not only be able to call your lawyer, but that you should be able to speak to your lawyer and have all your questions answer when needed.  Our lawyers will be there for you throughout the entire process.