What Happens If an Injury Victim Passes Away While Pursuing a Truck Accident Claim?

What Happens If an Injury Victim Passes Away While Pursuing a Truck Accident Claim?

An accident victim can die sometimes before their personal injury claim reaches a resolution. Fortunately, you can still hold the responsible party liable for their negligence even if your loved one died for an unrelated cause. An experienced truck accident attorney in West Virginia can help you hold the liable party accountable for their actions and obtain justice and compensation for your loved one’s suffering.

Was the Car Accident Claim Already Filed Prior to the Wrongful Death?

Depending on the facts and circumstances of the personal injury and wrongful death cases, you can pursue the appropriate legal recourse to recover damages from the at-fault parties. A wrongful death attorney may recommend moving forward through a survival action if a claim has already been filed with the insurance company before your loved one’s death. This will help you recover compensation for the decedent’s estate. You may need to file a wrongful death claim in case a car accident claim has not been filed.

What is a Wrongful Death Claim in West Virginia?

Wrongful death claims are intended to compensate the family members for the damages incurred. The specific type of damages that are recoverable will depend on the relationship between the beneficiary and the deceased.

Wrongful death claims are different from vehicle accident claims. You can seek damages for the following after a victim’s death:

  • Medical costs and hospital bills incurred by the victim while being treated for truck accident injuries.
  • Lost earnings and financial contributions.
  • Pain and suffering damages.
  • Loss of marital care, parental guidance, and other support.
  • Burial and funeral costs.
  • Loss of benefits.

Filing a Survival Action Following a Truck Accident Claim in WV

A survival action needs to be brought by the personal representative of the decedent’s estate. Any compensation recovered will go straight to the estate before it’s eventually distributed as per the laws of intestate succession or the decedent’s will.

Survival actions are usually brought when a victim doesn’t die immediately from their final injury. You may only be able to recover damages related to the truck accident, including:

  • Medical costs related to the accident injuries up until the loved one’s death.
  • Prescription medication is required for injuries from the crash.
  • Lost wages and earning potential if the victim could not resume their work following the car accident.
  • Property damages following the car crash.
  • Pain and suffering.

Should I File a Wrongful Death Claim or a Survival Action?

If a victim dies because of the injuries sustained in a truck accident, the family of the deceased may be able to file a wrongful death claim. Survival actions can be filed by the decedent’s family to recover damages suffered by the injured victim while they were alive.

Survival actions are generally the better course of action if an individual dies from an injury or condition unrelated to the truck accident. Your attorney will consider the length of time the injured victim lived following the accident to choose the right legal avenue.

Who can Receive Compensation When the Case is Resolved

Typically, compensation for damages caused will ultimately go to the decedent’s next of kin. Moreover, depending on the type of claim filed, the process of how the compensation gets to them may be different. The compensation will go to the victim’s estate in a survival action. This will then be disbursed as per the decedent’s will.

Compensation goes to the family member that filed the claim for wrongful death actions. The estate and the surviving family member will recover compensation if both a survival claim and a wrongful death claim are filed. If the person that filed the claim is also named in the decedent’s will, then they will recover the compensation awarded to the estate as per the will.

Talk to a Skilled and Knowledgeable Wrongful Death Attorney in West Virginia

If someone you love died as a result of a preventable trucking accident, the committed and compassionate wrongful death attorneys at Bailey, Javins, and Carter can determine the most strategic way of proceeding for maximum damages. Our experienced attorneys have recovered tens of millions in compensation for victims and their surviving family members through settlements and trial verdicts.

To schedule your free consultation, call us at 800-497-0234 or fill out our online contact form.