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What Happens if an Injury Victim Passes Away During an Active Lawsuit?

putting flower on graveSome injury victims pass away before their personal injury lawsuit is resolved. For example, a nursing home abuse victim may pass away before a lawsuit concludes. Their cause of death may be related to the injury that is the subject of the lawsuit or an unrelated reason.

Even though the plaintiff in the lawsuit passed away, the lawsuit will continue until there is a resolution, right?

This is an important question, and it emphasizes the need for having a knowledgeable attorney handling your case. An experienced lawyer understands what may be possible in this type of scenario.

At TSR Injury Law, our Bloomington-based personal injury lawyers have been helping injury victims seek compensation for more than two decades. We are always prepared for a trial and have helped many injury victims secure compensation in court.

An initial consultation is free and there is no obligation to hire our firm.  

What Does Minnesota Law Say?

In Minnesota, if the victim dies from injuries caused by the negligent act, the victim’s case becomes a wrongful death lawsuit. Minnesota Statute 573.02 says that a lawsuit may be pursued by the Trustee of the decedent if it was not finally determined while the decedent was alive. However, the lawsuit will be for the exclusive benefit of the surviving spouse, parents and children of the deceased. Minnesota statutes make it clear there is a claim for economic loss and loss of aid society and companionship the heirs lost from the death of their relative.

Anyone can be chosen as a Wrongful Death Trustee, but a Judge must accept the Petition and all heirs to the deceased must be given notice and have the opportunity to be heard. Usually, a parent or spouse of the deceased is chosen by the family to represent them, but the Trustee can be anyone the family trusts to proceed with the legal case. 

What if the Death was Caused by Something Unrelated to the Injury?

Minnesota Statute 573.02 Subd. 2. Injury action says the trustee appointed for the deceased can maintain legal action for special damages (economic damages) that arise out of the injury if the decedent would have had grounds for a lawsuit if he or she had survived. The surviving spouse or one of the children can petition the court to appoint someone as trustee to file a lawsuit.

However, it is important to note the claim cannot include non-economic damages, like pain and suffering for the deceased or loss of aid society and companionship for the heirs. That means victims cannot pursue full compensation for all the damages they suffered.

As this is a complex situation, it should be discussed with an experienced attorney.  

Wrongful Death Lawsuits

The purpose of this type of lawsuit is to recover compensation for the economic and non-economic damages caused by the victim’s passing. This may include:

  • Medical expenses incurred by the deceased before his or her death
  • Lost wages
  • Lost benefits
  • Loss guidance
  • Pain and suffering endured by the victim before death
  • Funeral expenses
  • Burial expenses
  • And more

There is a short deadline for a wrongful death lawsuit to be filed and only certain people have the right to pursue such a case. If your loved one died due to another’s negligence, we may be able to help you seek compensation.

Contact Us Today to Discuss Potential Legal Options

If you or a loved one were injured by another’s negligence, we are prepared to help. Give us a call to discuss what happened and learn how we may be able to assist you.

Our firm has secured $350 million in compensation on behalf of Minnesota injury victims in a variety of cases. We charge no upfront fees, and we do not get paid unless you get paid at the end of the legal process.

Millions Recovered. No Upfront Fees. Call (612) TSR-TIME.  

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