What Happens to a Car Accident Lawsuit if the Victim Dies From Their Injury?
Sometimes car accidents are simply tragic affairs and it is impossible to blame a party who acted wrongly. Other times, however, serious personal injury or death resulting from a car accident is the consequence of negligent or wrongful behavior on the part of an individual or company. When someone is in a car accident and dies before a full legal recovery can take place, survivors often have the right to file a lawsuit.
There are two main parts of a wrongful death lawsuit in Illinois - survival action and wrongful death action. These are related but distinct, and it is important to have an understanding of the difference between the two. An experienced Illinois personal injury attorney can help you explore your options and help you bring the lawsuit that is appropriate for your case.
Survival Action vs. Wrongful Death Action
The wrongful death action segment of a wrongful death lawsuit addresses the suffering of the victims who survived the deceased. Survivors may be entitled to damages compensating them for the loss of financial support, companionship, and consortium, as well as for the grief they endure. If a victim dies from the accident right away, then the majority of the damages in the lawsuit will result from the wrongful death action.
However, if a victim survives and endures pain, suffering, or medical expenses before passing away, the survivor action portion of the lawsuit addresses the damages suffered before death. This may include damages for disability, lost wages, medical costs, and any other damages incurred while trying to treat or revive the victim after the accident. The damages in a survival action suit can vary widely depending on the length of time between injury and death. However, even when the victim passes away shortly after the accident, significant recovery is still possible.
The party who caused the death of the victim may be responsible for both wrongful death action and survival action in a wrongful death lawsuit. The estate of the victim can file the survival action lawsuit, and the victim’s next of kin can file a wrongful death suit. Sometimes, that means the plaintiffs of these two lawsuits are different, but generally, they are the same and consist of the parent, child, or spouse of the victim.
Speak with an Orland Park Survival Action Lawsuit Attorney
When the unthinkable happens and your loved one dies before or during a personal injury lawsuit in response to a car accident, an experienced Cook County, IL car accident attorney can help you pursue justice. At Schwartz Injury Law, we have represented our clients in cases with million-dollar verdicts, giving them the peace of mind and compensation to which they are entitled. Call one of our conveniently located offices and schedule a free initial consultation at 708-226-9000.