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

Asked about 1 year ago - 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. Robert Max Klein

    Pro

    Contributor Level 15

    9

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . 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. Robert Bruce Kopelson

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . 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.

  3. Kenneth Lee LaBore

    Pro

    Contributor Level 15

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . 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... more
  4. Michael Shemtoub

    Contributor Level 17

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . 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... more
  5. Richard Andrew Harting

    Pro

    Contributor Level 17

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . 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.

  6. Christian K. Lassen II

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . 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.

  7. Lars A. Lundeen

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . 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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