California is poised to join 45 other states—at least temporarily—that allow the heirs of plaintiffs who die with pending pain-and-suffering claims to pursue those damages.

Senate Bill 447, co-sponsored by the Consumer Attorneys of California, would open a litigation path for successors of victims with claims that have accrued by Jan. 1, 2026. Backers of the legislation say it would end a “perverse” incentive for defendants to drag out personal injury litigation with terminally ill plaintiffs.