My loved one died in the middle of a personal injury lawsuit

Imagine your loved one -- such as your husband or wife -- was involved in a serious and debilitating car accident. While recovering from his or her injuries, your spouse initiated a personal injury claim against the party or parties at fault for the accident and associated injuries. However, your spouse died in the middle of the lawsuit before he or she could make a financial recovery.

If you're a close relative of the individual, there are several things you will want to do following the death of a loved one who was pursuing a personal injury claim. First and foremost, realize that if your loved one had a viable claim for damages, your loved one's claims will not be lost.

The way you move forward with your loved one's case will depend on how your loved one died. Did he or she die as a result of the injuries related to the personal injury claims? Or, did he or she die due to entirely unrelated reasons?

If the accident injuries related to your loved one's personal injury case caused his or her death, then close relatives and financial dependents of may choose to pursue a wrongful death claim against the at-fault party. In this case, the personal injury claims might be withdrawn and/or amended to take the form of a wrongful death claim for multiple plaintiffs.

If your loved one died of reasons independent of the personal injury case, then his or her personal injury claims will still survive. It's just that the claims and any resulting recoveries from the lawsuit will become the property of the decedent's estate, and the personal representative of the estate will manage the lawsuit to its end.

Regardless the circumstances, if your loved one died while pursuing an injury-related lawsuit, a Tennessee personal injury lawyer can help you explore your and your family's legal rights and options.

Source: FindLaw, "Wrongful Death FAQ," accessed Sep. 15, 2017

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