What to Do if Someone Dies Before Bringing a Lawsuit for Personal Injury


If your loved one has passed on, but was the victim of personal injury before his or her death, you do have some options. Whether you’re the surviving family members, the executor of the estate or another personal representative, the first thing you should do is speak with a lawyer about those options. The following are some items of business to discuss.

If the Injury Caused the Death

In most cases, if someone dies as the result of an accident, and his or her injuries would have qualified for a personal injury lawsuit, those injuries still qualify for a lawsuit, but it would now be considered a wrongful death case. For example, if someone was hit by a drunk driver and sustained life-threatening injuries that left him or her in a coma, the injured individual wouldn’t be able to file a personal injury lawsuit.

If death resulted from that drunk driving accident, the family of the deceased would then be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit. If won, the settlement could help to pay for funeral and burial expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages for the family, and other similar expenses.

If the Injury Did Not Cause the Death

Perhaps an individual died before filing a personal injury lawsuit, and his or her death had nothing to do with the injury. For example, someone’s leg may have been injured in a slip and fall accident. While on his or her way to a family party, he or she could have been struck by a car and killed. The family could still file a wrongful death lawsuit for the car accident death, but that slip and fall accident would still warrant a personal injury lawsuit as well. The executor of the estate, or possibly a surviving family member, could file a personal injury claim that could help to pay for:

  • Pain the individual suffered after the accident and before his or her death.
  • Medical appointments he or she attended before dying.
  • Wages that supported family members and were lost between the two incidents.

What You Can Do Today

As the loved one of someone who passed away before the opportunity to file a personal injury lawsuit, there are some things you can do. Whether the death was caused by the personal injury or by another incident, the personal injury lawsuit might survive beyond death. Speak with a personal injury lawyer in Memphis, TN, like from Darrell Castle & Associates, today to learn more about your options and what type of compensation you can get in such a situation.