What Happens to a Crash Claim if the Victim Dies?

Posted on behalf of James Lynch on July 28, 2022  in Car Accident News. Updated on May 25, 2023

When a loved one dies due to the negligence of another party, the law allows the surviving family members to pursue compensation for things like funeral and burial expenses. However, when the loved one’s death is unrelated to the accident, but there was cause for a claim, you may be wondering what your legal options may be.

Below, our New Jersey car accident lawyers discuss the laws regarding the death of an accident victim and what legal options may be available for surviving family members.

Call the Lynch Law Firm, PC today to discuss your claim during a free consultation.


According to the New Jersey Survivor Act (N.J.S.2A:15-3), the executors for the estate of a deceased person may bring about a claim to recover funeral and burial expenses. In 2022, an amendment to the law was signed that would allow the estate of the decedent to also recover compensation for economic and non-economic damages like those from a personal injury claim the victim would have been able to file had he or she survived to the end of the legal process. This type of claim is known as a survival claim.

While New Jersey has allowed grieving families to recover compensation for the wrongful death of a loved one, this Act expanded the rights of these family members to recover additional damages from liable parties.


The administrator for the estate of the deceased individual is the only person who may bring forth a survival claim in New Jersey. Generally, the estate administrator is appointed by a county administrator who would then appoint a next of kin to the position, such as a spouse or child.

For a survival claim to be successful, the estate must prove the following:

  • A representative of the estate must be the one to bring forth the claim
  • There was cause for the decedent to bring forth a claim while he or she was alive
  • Someone else’s negligent actions were a direct result of the decedent’s damages

If your loved one gets injured due to someone else’s negligent actions, survives the ordeal, but then dies due to something unrelated to the liable party’s actions, you may still be able to bring a survival claim as the estate administrator.


The family members or loved ones of a person who dies due to someone else’s negligent actions may be wondering whether a wrongful death claim or a survival action may be appropriate. The answer is that it depends on the circumstances of the accident and what ultimately caused the decedent’s death.

In some cases, both causes of action may be appropriate. If your loved one died several days after an accident due to the injuries he or she sustained in the accident caused by someone else, a wrongful death claim may be appropriate. Wrongful death claims are filed to recover compensation for damages associated with the individual’s death, and compensation goes to the decedent’s next of kin. A survival claim recovers compensation for the decedent’s estate.

It would be in your best interest to discuss the facts of your claim with a licensed attorney who may be able to help you determine the best course of action to pursue the compensation you need.


If you lost a loved one after an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you might be eligible to recover compensation for the estate of that individual to help cover the costs of things like funeral and burial expenses as well as medical bills incurred before he or she passed away.

Our experienced attorneys understand the importance of pursuing compensation through the appropriate legal process to ensure maximum compensation is recovered.

We offer a free consultation to discuss your legal options, and there are no fees while we work on your case. There is no risk to you.

Call (800) 518-0508 to learn more.

* Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances.

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