What Happens If Accident Victim Dies Before Filing Personal Injury Lawsuit?

The legal system has procedures in place that could allow someone else to start or complete a given injury case.

Survival action: A procedure that allows for pursuit of a mass tort or personal injury lawsuit.

This action lets someone start or continue a lawsuit on behalf of a deceased individual. The plaintiff takes on the role of a substitute, substituting for the decedent. The substitute plaintiff can recover only those damages that had resulted from events that took place before the decedent’s passing.

—Medical expenses, up to the time of the decedent’s passing
—Loss of income, during time that victim struggled to recover, before dying from the effects of the injury.
—Victim’s pain and suffering, until time of his/her passing

Wrongful death claim: Provides a surviving relative with chance to sue for any personal losses that resulted from the relative’s fatal accident.

Anyone that has introduced a wrongful death claim enjoys the right to seek the following damage awards

—Money for medical bills
—Money for funeral expenses
—Reimbursement for loss of income
—Monetary compensation for pain and suffering
—Monetary compensation for emotional discomfort, for loss of support, or loss of consortium

Only the decedent’s close relatives have the right to file a wrongful death claim.

—A stepson or stepdaughter could not file such a claim.
—A former spouse of the decedent could not file such a claim.

What factors would determine whether or not a surviving relative could pursue a survival action or a wrongful death claim?

That same relative would need to consider the answer to this question: What caused the death of the deceased?

—Did he/she die of something that was unrelated to the personal injury case? If so, then the surviving relative must pursue a survival action.
—Did he/she die from the effects of the accident? If so then the surviving related would have the right to pursue a wrongful death claim.

If the close family members were to file a wrongful death claim for a deceased loved one, would all the other members of the same family be deprived of the chance to seek some form of compensation?

No, the legal system allows for the filing of both a survival action and a wrongful death claim, following the passing of an accident victim. The close family members could continue their pursuit of a wrongful death claim, as per personal injury lawyer in Stouffville.

At the same time, the more distant relatives would have a right to file a survival action. The court would not object to the fact that different individuals had chosen to start or complete an injury case, following the tragic incident had that preceded the death of a certain accident victim.