What Happens When a Death Takes Place Before the Personal Injury Lawsuit?

In some situations that involve personal injury, the individual will die before he or she can bring a personal injury lawsuit. While this isn’t going to benefit the deceased, there are often other options the family members have to gain compensation. The following are some things you should know about what happens when a death occurs before an injured person is able to file a lawsuit.

Understanding How the Deceased Died

One important factor that helps determine what can happen is how the individual died. If he or she died as a result of the injuries and it was serious enough to qualify for a personal injury lawsuit, the family can often file a wrongful death lawsuit. For example, if someone was walking across the street on a green light and was hit by a drunk driver, that individual could file a personal injury lawsuit. If he or she didn’t make it out of the surgery that was supposed to fix the issues resulting from the accident, it would most likely be considered wrongful death and be worthy of a lawsuit.

If the individual had a disease, such as diabetes, and was hit by a car, he or she would probably have a case for personal injury. If that individual died from complications due to diabetes and from nothing related to the accident, the family would typically not have a wrongful death case. Personal injury cases survive beyond death, however, and the family members might still recover compensation through the personal injury case.

What Compensation Covers After Death

After someone has died while waiting for a personal injury lawsuit, it may seem unnecessary to pursue a claim because he or she can’t use the money anymore. The good news is the family can be compensated for the damages incurred. The following are some damages that could be recovered in each situation.

  • Wrongful death – When someone dies as a result of the injuries, the family can sue for wrongful death, seeking damages for themselves. This includes loss of financial support, loss of companionship, loss of guidance and other similar issues. This type of settlement could also cover funeral and burial costs.
  • Personal injury – If the individual dies from other causes, and the family chooses to finish up the personal injury lawsuit, the family will be compensated for damages the victim suffered before he or she died. This might include loss of income, medical bills, and other similar damages.

Having a Lawyer’s Help

When you are facing the death of your loved one, and there is a personal injury lawsuit that needs to be settled, you may be able to finish it up. Contact a lawyer, like a personal injury lawyer from Frederick J. Brynn, P.C., to receive the help you need.