A commonly asked question is whether a personal injury lawsuit can be brought against the alleged wrongdoer if the injured person dies from his (or her) injuries before the suit is commenced. For many decades, the answer was "no," because under the common law of England and then the United States, the claim for damages expired upon the death of the injured person. Realizing the unfairness of this outcome, many state legislatures, including the North Carolina General Assembly, passed statutes specifically to create a legal right to bring a lawsuit even if the injured person had died from the injuries.
In North Carolina, an increasing number of people who have lost a loved one who has died of asbestos or fatal mesothelioma are choosing to file a lawsuit to recover compensation. When a loved one has died of mesothelioma, the obvious reason that family members will point to is exposure to agents that might cause the disease such asbestos.