Years can pass between the time when an injury-causing accident takes place, and the resolution of the resulting lawsuit. Fortunately, the legal system now takes that fact into consideration. A party’s negligence does not get overlooked, if the target of that negligence dies before receiving any type of compensation.
Those are special versions of a wrongful death claim. The laws about survival actions vary from state to state.
• Each state has its own rule, regarding who can file such an action
• Each state has its own laws, regarding what damages are available; some damages could get capped.
• Each state has its own law, with respect to the deadline for filing
Someone continues the lawsuit in place of the deceased. In other words, he or she serves as a substitute plaintiff. The size of the damages that get won by the substitute should match with what would have been awarded to the now-deceased plaintiff. Typically, the substitute plaintiff is a representative of the deceased plaintiff’s estate. That representative brings the case before the court. Personal Injury Lawyer in St Thomas knows that the representative can take that action either before or after the filing of the case-linked lawsuit.
How much money could a substitute plaintiff receive?
Substitute plaintiffs can recover the number of damages that would match with whatever funds would have been made available to the plaintiff, if he or she had survived, until resolution of the ongoing dispute. The recovered damages compensate for the expenses, up to the time of the victim’s death.
The reason for the plaintiff’s death must be considered
In order for a court to agree to the terms of a survival action, the plaintiff’s death must be unrelated to the accident-caused personal injury. For that reason, a survival action should not be viewed as an action that mimics the aspects of a wrongful death case.
In a wrongful death case, a court considers the losses of each close family member. Sometimes, the court awards damages for the loss of companionship or the loss of financial support. Those damage awards go to the plaintiffs, eligible members of the plaintiff’s family.
The representative in a survival action does not have to be one of the deceased’s former companions, or one of the deceased’s family members. Yet that same representative does not have access to all the damage awards that could go to a family that has sued over a wrongful death.
Yet in both a wrongful death case and a survival action, the plaintiff does get reimbursed for the same amount of medical expenses. Those are the expenses that arose out of efforts to treat the plaintiff before he or she had died. Those costly efforts would have given rise to the pre-death expenses.