What Happens to a Personal Injury Case If the Plaintiff Dies Before Resolution?

It’s unfortunate, but sometimes a plaintiff dies before his or her personal injury case is resolved. His or her family members may wonder what is going to happen next. Can they still receive compensation from the case? It largely depends on the cause of the death. The following information goes more into depth about it.

Dying from the Injuries

If an individual has enough evidence to file a successful case against someone for personal injury, but he or she dies because of those injuries, the surviving family members would have that same evidence to file a wrongful death lawsuit. For example, someone may have been in great health when he or she was hit by a drunk driver. After dealing with brain damage for a period of time, he or she may have passed away as brain function disappeared.

The individual’s lawyer may have been working on a personal injury lawsuit at the time of the death. The surviving family members could then work with the attorney using the same evidence against the drunk driver to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

Dying from Unrelated Causes

If someone dies due to unrelated causes, the surviving family members may not have a case against the individual who caused the initial injuries, but it largely depends on the specifics of the case. For example, if someone sustained a broken leg at work, he or she may be in the process of a personal injury lawsuit against a coworker who caused the injury. While on the way to a medical appointment, he or she may have been involved in a car accident that took his or her life. The surviving family members would not be able to sue the coworker for wrongful death.

There is still a chance the executor of the deceased person’s estate could fulfill the personal injury claim and receive compensation for the estate. For example, if that individual was the sole financial provider for a family, and he or she missed a certain amount of work after the accident, the family may be able to receive compensation for the amount of time he or she was still alive but unable to work. If the family was stuck with medical bills due to the accident, they may be able to receive compensation to cover those as well.

Contacting a Lawyer for Assistance

Personal injury cases can be complicated on their own, but when the injured individual dies, it can complicate the issue further. Fortunately, you can contact a personal injury lawyer in Pasco, WA, like from Telare Law, for assistance in dealing with your loved one’s case.