Sometimes, people don’t die right away despite being badly injured in a car crash. They may recover enough to leave the hospital but have further medical treatments or surgeries needed in the future.
This becomes complicated when someone has complications that may lead to their death long after the car crash occurred. For example, someone who is paralyzed in an auto accident may pass away due to autonomic dysfunction days, weeks or even years later.
If you have not settled yet and your loved one dies from their injuries or as a result of complications from them, then you may want to consider pursuing a wrongful death claim instead of a personal injury lawsuit.
Linking the death to the crash matters
If you want to make a wrongful death claim, you will need to link your loved one’s death to the collision. You can do this in a few ways, but one of the main factors to consider is if this injury or illness would have impacted them if not for being involved in the collision.
If they were paralyzed as a result of the crash and then died due to complications of a spinal cord injury, it may be possible to seek a wrongful death claim.
What happens if you already settled the injury case?
If you already settled a personal injury case and your loved one later dies from their injuries, you may not be able to pursue further compensation. However, you should consider looking into your legal options, because there may be opportunities to seek compensation if the claim hasn’t yet been finalized or if another party was involved who hasn’t been part of a claim yet. This can make your situation more complex, so it’s a smart choice to speak with someone who understands the personal injury and wrongful death claims process.
For the most part, those who have already settled have given up their right to pursue further compensation, but there could be an exception for someone in extraordinary circumstances. This is something to discuss before you decide if you want to make a claim.