Because personal injury, in most cases, has to do with an individual suffering physical injuries to the body it is possible for a personal injury claim to be filed only for the plaintiff to die halfway through the claim process. In such cases, there are laws that govern the issue while a case is pending and it is possible to continue with the lawsuit even after the death of the plaintiff. Generally, when a claim has been initiated but the plaintiff dies before the claim gets to court, the surviving family or spouse may have a valid claim to put forward. Depending on the circumstances and the specific state where the lawsuit has been initiated, in the event that the plaintiff dies after filing the litigation it is often possible to continue with the matter until settlement or jury verdict. However, there are factors that may change such as the participant, the issue at hand being sued for and the laws governing the state where the claim is being filed. In cases where there are no surviving family members or others already involved in the case it is likely that the case will grind to a halt and end before the lawyer has a chance to look for any other parties that suffered damage from the defendant. A Crowson Law Group attorney stated, “The state of Alaska has survival action laws in place. Such a law is designed to posthumously benefit the person killed from their own suffering. This is whereby a person is injured as a result of the negligence of another and does not die right away, but succumbs to his or her injuries. The Alaska law allows a survival action for pre-death injuries
according to Alaska Statute 09.5 5.570. Common claims made in survival actions often relate to pre-death pain and suffering and pre-death medical expenses. Survival action is similar to a wrongful death lawsuit in that it requires filing to be done by a personal representative of the deceased. Where an action had already been filed and the party dies the personal representatives maintain the action thereon against the party whom the cause of action accrued. However, pain and suffering which occurs ‘substantially contemporaneous with death’ is not compensated; that is to say if the person was killed more or less instantaneously, there was pretty much no conscious suffering before the death then pain and suffering through survival action is not possible. Additionally, it should be noted that a survival action may exist alongside the wrongful death case depending on how long the person lived through the pain and suffering which ultimately lead to their death.” It is important to note that the Alaska Statute on survival action requires any money allowed for pre-death pain and suffering to be passed into the estate of the deceased whether or not there are surviving dependents. Additionally, the compensation for predeath pain and suffering may not include money for ‘loss of enjoyment of life’ of the individual killed. For survival action and wrongful death claims contact the best lawyers in Anchorage Ak.
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