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Personal Injury Claim 

A question personal injury lawyers are commonly asked is: if I were to pass away before my personal injury claim is finalised, can the estate still recover damages?

The answer is YES – a personal injury claim for damages can be bought on behalf of the estate to recover damages that the deceased would have received.

However, only economic damages can be recovered in this case. These include:

  • The loss of earning capacity prior to death;
  • Medical and hospital expenses prior to death;
  • Damages for gratuitous care services provided prior to death that were both received and provided by the deceased to other individuals; and
  • Funeral expenses.

The estate is not able to claim damages for lost earning capacity after the date of death. Additionally, punitive or exemplary damages are not available.

Usually, general damages (non-economic loss damages) are not available.  There is however an exception in dust disease cases, whereby the estate can be awarded general damages (such as damages for loss of expectation of life). However, these can only be awarded if the proceedings have been initiated whilst the deceased is still alive.

What does this mean for the success of a claim?

Often the injured individual is an essential witness to their own claim. If they pass away, it’s important for the estate to consider whether the claim can still be proved without that evidence. However, as individual circumstances differ, it is important to seek specific advice from a personal injury lawyer.

Matthews Folbigg has over 50 years’ experience protecting personal injury and compensation rights of people living in Parramatta and the Hills. Our Personal Injury Lawyers can provide practical solutions and exceptional results in relation to your compensation claim on a No Win, No Fee basis. Call 1300 773 529 or email a Personal Injury lawyer at We can then arrange an initial telephone conference to discuss.