The following PI & Clinical Negligence guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
When the victim of a personal injury action has died prior to trial, two distinct claims are possible.
A claim can be brought for:
the benefit of the deceased’s estate under the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1934 (LR(MP)A 1934)
on behalf of the dependants of the deceased under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 (FAA 1976)
While these claims can be pursued separately, they are often brought together.
When a claim is brought for the benefit of the deceased’s estate, this is founded on a continuation of the cause of action to which the deceased was entitled the instant before they died.
When a claim is brought on behalf of the dependants, a fresh cause of action is created, although the claim will only succeed if it can be shown that the deceased would have recovered damages if they were still alive.
A claim on behalf of the deceased’s estate must be brought by the administrator or executor of the estate.
For guidance on the practical steps that should be taken when a claimant dies, see Practice Note: Personal injury claims and the death of a party—Practical steps—Further steps where a claimant dies.
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