What Happens if Someone Dies During a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

Trying to get help after suffering a devastating injury may seem like an impossible feat. Medical bills may be piling up while going back to work is nowhere on the horizon. If someone you love has been injured by another, they may be able to take legal action against the person responsible.

A personal injury lawsuit is something that is filed when one person is liable for inflicting damage on another. For the plaintiff, it may be a matter of recovering money lost through lost wages or being out of work. For the defendant, it may be the only way for them to answer for the wrong they’ve done. What happens, however, when an injured person dies during a personal injury lawsuit? Find out how the legal system handles this unfortunate turn of events.

Wrongful Death

When a person dies before the conclusion of a personal injury suit, the action is converted to a wrongful death action. For the most part, the proceeding goes along as it was. There are some procedural changes that may occur, but for the most part, a wrongful death lawsuit is the same as that of a personal injury. The stakes just may be higher.

The Negligence 

In a personal injury suit the plaintiff must prove the defendant’s negligence caused the injury. Negligence means the defendant acted in a way that directly violated a standard of duty towards other people. This means that the defendant did something that they knew was wrong and may lead to harm to other people. When the case converts to a wrongful death case, the plaintiff must show that the injury was the direct cause of the injured person’s death. If this can be shown, then the defendant is now responsible for the death.

The Results 

A wrongful death suit aims to recover compensation for your loved one’s injury. While no amount of money can bring that person back, the damages awarded may help offset the financial void left behind. Bills incurred in the deceased’s name can now be paid with money recovered. You and your loved ones may receive compensation for lost wages — past and future.

A sudden death not only hurts those left behind emotionally, but it can do a lot of damage financially. When an attorney, like a personal injury attorney from Ward & Ward Law Firm, is enlisted to help convert a claim to a wrongful death action, you and your family may get the help you need.