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Can Anything be Done if a Family Member Dies During a Personal Injury Lawsuit

Can anything be done if a family member dies during a personal injury lawsuit? This is a question that you may have if a family member died during the process of pursuing a personal injury lawsuit.

Your family member was the innocent victim of some kind of accident or incident that occurred due to the negligent or reckless act or behavior of another party. In fact, it may even have been some type of willful or deliberate act or behavior that resulted in your family member’s personal injury.

That party may have been a person, persons, business or entity. Because of the injuries and damages that your family member suffered, your family member decided to bring a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible party.

Legal procedure

A personal injury lawsuit is a legal procedure that a person pursues in court. It is brought by a person who has been injured either physically and/or emotionally against the party who is liable for that personal injury.

However, during the process of pursuing the personal injury lawsuit, your family member died. The question that you want answered is, “Can anything be done, now that your family member has died?“ In other words, you probably would like to know if there is anything you can do on behalf of your family member.

Personal injury laws do vary from one state to another. However, the critical issue is whether your family member died from the injuries they received in the accident or incident.

Wrongful death

If the injuries that your family member sustained in the accident or incident are what brought about their death, that death is regarded as a “wrongful death” according to the law. A wrongful death is a death that should not have occurred.

A wrongful death is an unnatural death. It is a death that happens because of the willful or negligent act or behavior of another party.

Wrongful death laws also vary from state to state. However, in most instances, the spouse, child or parent of a person dying from a wrongful death is permitted to bring a wrongful death lawsuit in which you can recover monetary damages.


On the other hand, if the death of your family member was the result of causes that were unrelated to the accident or incident, most of the time, what is referred to as a “tort claim” still remains. This is a civil lawsuit that is made against the party that is liable for the tort.

The executor or personal representative of your family member is who makes a tort claim on their behalf. One thing to keep in mind is that the monetary amount that can be recovered in a tort claim is not the same as what your family member may have recovered if they had lived to win their personal injury lawsuit.

The wise thing to do is to let a personal injury attorney evaluate your family member’s case at no cost or obligation to you. A personal injury attorney will advise you on the best course of action to pursue.

Article written by James Shugart

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