When a party injured through the carelessness of another dies, either as a result of the injuries sustained in the accident, or due to unrelated causes, before the case is over. The claim of the injured person "survives" their death. The law does not allow the careless person to benefit because of the death of the person they injured. Instead, a family member needs only to open up an "estate", a legal entity (like the establishment of a corporation) that allows someone to sue and be sued on behalf of the deceased. Accordingly, if an individual was injured through the carelessness of another and then passes away for reasons related or unrelated to the incident that caused the injury, his spouse or other relative can make a claim for the pain and suffering that occurred during his lifetime. That claim is called a "survival action".
by Ira Sherman