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survival action n
: an action for the recovery of damages for injury to a fatally injured person that is brought by his or her personal representative compare wrongful death action NOTE: A survival action depends on the existence of a cause of action that the decedent would have had if he or she had survived. A wrongful death suit is concerned with injury to beneficiaries, not the decedent.
Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.