What Happens if Someone Dies During a Personal Injury Lawsuit Before it Was Settled?

Suffering traumatic injuries is always a difficult time for families, but when a loved one dies from these injuries, it can be devastating. A person may sustain an injury type that, over the course of weeks, months or years, results in death. Many families may give up hope at this time, however, the law affords them protections which allow them to pursue their loved one’s case, this is often times referred to as a survival cause of action. This allows the decedent’s family to continue the suit against the wrongful party and collect damages. Unlike a wrongful death cause of action, a survival action does not compensate the deceased family member for their losses. Rather, it allows them to sue for losses sustained by the deceased as a result of the wrongful act before he or she died.
There are four elements of a survival action:

  1. The Plaintiff is the legal representative of the deceased
  2. The deceased had a cause of action for personal injury prior to death
  3. The deceased had started or was entitled to begin a lawsuit against the liable party
  4. The defendant’s wrongful act was the cause of injury and/or death of the decedent

If you are the representative of a deceased love one, you will be entitled to the same damages that your loved one would have been awarded had he or she survived. This can entail loss of earning capacity, pain and suffering of the deceased and medical expenses. Please contact our law office with any questions regarding a survival cause of action or for a 100% free case consultation.