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Thank you for your question.
If the case settled while he was alive, his death has no effect on the value of the case.
In any event, someone has to file a probate case to get an administrator appointed to continue to handle the claim or to take charge of the settlement if there is one.
Please see the article starting at page 43 of https://www.lacba.org/docs/default-source/lal-back-issues/2003-issues/julyaugust-2003.pdf
I hope this information is helpful.
Yes, an estate cannot sue for punitive damages but if a judgment was final before the plaintiff died, the judgment remains enforceable even if it includes punitive damages.
Yes, if the settlement was made while the plaintiff was alive, the settlement remains binding even after the death of the plaintiff.
Did the deceased leave a Will?
Someone has to file a probate case, get a personal representative appointed by the Court, and then the personal representative will have the legal authority to deal with the claim.
There is no time limit to file but it cannot be done on line. You can get a free consultation from some of the LA probate attornerys listed here.
Fees in probate cases are set bt the court based on a percentage of the value of the estate pluys any extraordinary services required. The attorney that was handling the case should have told you everything I have.