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If someone dies from asbestos cancer and it is a wrongful death claim, is it legal to go back and say personal injury claim?

Van Nuys, CA |

An attorney started a wrongful death claim for asbestos. Eight years later after it was already proven wrongful death the attorney switched it to personal injury even though it was already proven wrongful death. Is this common practice if the wrongful death claim has already been proven?

Attorney Answers 4

  1. it is common practice to amend the claim to what ever theory, often called a cause of action, will benefit the client(s) the most.

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  2. All semantics. A wrongful death claim IS a personal injury claim. If this is concerning you, talk to the attorney and discuss it. My guess is that parsing these words is more of a symptom of not trusting the lawyer.

  3. Hard to say just based on what you asked. Sounds like just a matter of using different words to say the same thing. However, general damages in "personal injury" cases die with the injured in California. A new case could be brought for the losses suffered by the estate and heirs after the death, but that would not be called a "personal injury" case.... at least not by me.

  4. I would need more facts to answer the question properly, but I would guess that the lawyers amended the complaint for the benefit of the case. I suggest you sit down with the lawyer in an effort to better understand the strategy

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