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In a Premises Liability case...if the Plaintiff dies before the matter goes to trial...does this reduce the value of the case ?

San Pedro, CA |

An elderly plaintiff involved in a trip and fall was totally disabled at 82. The med costs are measurable and there was a gross amount of negilent by the property owner....of course bringing all the factors together for a court determination would be excellent, but it the plaintiff passes on before trial........would the plaintiff's absence have a negative effect on all the effort and work put forth so far ? Thanks for any advice.

Attorney Answers 7


  1. Interesting question. Under CA law, if a plaintiff dies during while a case is moving forward, and before a judgment is entered, then the right to be compensated for pain and suffering is lost. So yes, the value of a case would go down significantly. However, if the death is due to the injuries sustained, then a lawsuit can be filed for wrongful death.

    Hope this answers your question. If not, please ask.


  2. First, my sincere regret that you are having to endure this difficult situation. You need to contact your attorney to discuss these issues, as the suit does not die with the death of a Plaintiff. I have worked personally on numerous cases such as this and it is important for you to know that time is of the essence when following through with your claim and bringing it forward. Best of luck to you.

    View my website & give me a call for a FREE consultation if you are a California resident 877-427-2752 or you can email me at Michael@Kingofpersonalinjurylaw.com www.KingofPersonalInjuryLaw.com I am licensed in California only and my answers on Avvo assume California law. Answers provided by me are for general information only. They are not legal advice. Answers must not be relied upon. Legal advice must be based on the interplay between specific exact facts and the law. This forum does not allow for the discussion of that interplay. My answer to any specific question would likely be different if that interplay were explored during an attorney-client relationship. I provide legal advice during the course of an attorney-client relationship only. The exchange of information through this forum does not establish such a relationship. That relationship is established only by personal and direct consultation with me followed by the execution of a written attorney-client agreement signed by each of us. The communications on this website are not privileged or confidential and I assume no duty to anyone by my participation on Avvo or because I have answered or commented on a question. All legal proceedings involve deadlines and time limiting statutes. So that legal rights are not lost for failure to timely take appropriate action and because I do not provide legal advice in answer to any question, if you are an interested party you should promptly and personally consult with an attorney for legal advice. Also, see Avvo's terms and conditions of use, specifically item 9, incorporated by this reference


  3. Unfortunately the pain and suffering, future medical and other damages may not be compensable after the plaintiff passes away.

    I would consult with a local medical malpractice attorney and provide them will the facts to assist you with your questions. You can find one on AVVO.

    Good luck.

    AVVO DISCLAIMER I am licensed in Minnesota only and my answers on Avvo assume Minnesota law. The answers I provide are for general information only and are NOT INTENDED AS LEGAL ADVICE and therefore must not be relied upon. Legal advice must be based on the interaction between an attorney and client and specific exact facts and the law. I do not retain clients without a signed RETAINER AGREEMENT. The Avvo forum does not allow for the discussion and the interaction necessary to form a complete legal analysis. Therefore the answers given to any specific question would most likely be different if there was attorney-client interaction. The exchange of information through this forum does not establish such an attorney client relationship. An attorney-client relationship is established only by personal and direct consultation with me followed by the execution of a written attorney-client agreement signed by each of us. The communications on this website are not privileged nor are they confidential and I assume no duty to anyone by my participation on Avvo or because I have answered or commented on a question. All legal proceedings involve deadlines and statutory time limiting statutes. So that legal rights are not lost for failure to timely take appropriate action and because I do not provide legal advice in the answers to any question, if you are an interested party you should promptly and personally consult with an qualified attorney for legal advice licensed in the proper jurisdiction. Finally, see Avvo's terms and conditions of use, specifically item 9, incorporated by this reference.


  4. Yes, you lose components of the compensation. I assume that you have a local lawyer, so best bet is to schedule a sit-down with that lawyer to discuss.


  5. Regrettably, this has happened to me in 2 different cases, and the clients had passed from health problems not related to the injuries in the cases. Both were elderly and had no wage loss, only medical expenses. Those werent high because of medi- care. We recd the medical expenses as settlement, and then had to negotiate with medi-care for their reimbursement.


  6. Yes. If the plaintiff dies before the conclusion of the case it changes everything. If the plaintiff died as a result of the injuries incurred in the fall. The case now becomes a wrongful death action. If they died for other reasons not related, then the successor in interest is now substituted for the plaintiff and the damages are now limited to the economic losses only - no pain and suffering.


  7. The death of the plaintiff may have a serious adverse effect on the claim, particularly if the decedent's testimony was critical to proving the liability of the landowner. This situation needs to be discussed frankly with the plaintiff's attorney.

    Legal Disclaimer:

    If this information has been helpful, please indicate below.

    Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.

    This ans. does not create an attorney/client relationship.

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