Difference Between Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Claims

By: | Updated: Jan-22, 2023
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When an individual dies due to the negligence of another person or entity, it can be a devastating experience for the family and friends of the deceased. But how does this differ from a personal injury claim? This article looks into the differences between Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Claims, as well as when such claims are applicable and what you should do if you think you may have a case.

Difference Between Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Claims

What is a Personal Injury Claim?

A personal injury claim is a legal claim filed by an individual who has been injured due to the negligence of another. Personal injury claims can be filed for physical injuries, emotional distress, or property damage. For example, an auto accident attorney may file a personal injury claim on behalf of a client who has been injured in a car accident due to the other driver’s negligence. The claim will seek compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain, suffering, and any other damages sustained in the accident.

Additionally, a personal injury claim can be filed against a company or other entity if their negligence resulted in harm to an individual. For example, a premises liability lawyer may file a claim against the owner of a store if someone slips and falls due to hazardous conditions on the property.

What is a Wrongful Death Claim?

A wrongful death claim is a type of personal injury claim that can be filed when someone dies due to the negligence or wrongful act of another person. Wrongful death claims can be filed by the surviving relatives of the deceased person, such as their spouse, children, or parents.

The purpose of a wrongful death claim is to seek compensation for the survivors’ losses, such as medical and funeral expenses, lost income and benefits, and loss of companionship. In some cases, punitive damages may also be awarded in order to punish the negligent party and deter others from engaging in similar behavior.

To successfully file a wrongful death claim, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant’s negligence or wrongful act caused the victim’s death. This can be done through eyewitness testimony, expert testimony, or other evidence. If you have lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing, you should contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal options.

Differences Between the Two Claims

When it comes to personal injury and wrongful death claims, there are some key differences that you should be aware of. For one, a personal injury claim is typically filed by the injured party themselves, or by their legal representative. On the other hand, a wrongful death claim is usually filed by the surviving family members of the deceased.

Another key difference between the two types of claims is the amount of damages that can be recovered. In a personal injury claim, damages are typically limited to things like medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. However, in a wrongful death claim, survivors may be able to recover additional damages such as loss of companionship or funeral expenses.

Finally, it’s important to note that personal injury claims must be filed within a certain time frame after the accident occurred (known as the statute of limitations). But there is no such time limit for filing a wrongful death claim.

Statute of Limitations for Both Claims

The statute of limitations is the time limit set by law within which a person can file a lawsuit. The purpose of the statute of limitations is to protect defendants from having to defend against old, stale claims. Once the statute of limitations has expired, a defendant is no longer legally obligated to respond to a plaintiff’s claim.

There are different statutes of limitations for different types of claims. For example, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims is generally shorter than the statute of limitations for other types of personal injury claims. The statute of limitations for wrongful death claims is also generally shorter than the statute of limitations for other types of personal injury claims.

The specific statute of limitations that applies to a personal injury or wrongful death claim will depend on the facts and circumstances surrounding the case. In general, however, the statute of limitations for both types of claims will be either two years or four years from the date of the accident or incident that gave rise to the claim.

Damages Available in Each Claim

There are different types of damages that may be available in each type of claim. In a personal injury claim, the victim may be able to recover damages for their medical expenses, lost wages, pain, suffering, and more. In a wrongful death claim, the victim’s family may be able to recover damages for their loved one’s lost earnings, funeral and burial expenses, and more.

The number of damages that may be available in each type of claim will depend on the facts and circumstances of each case. If you have been injured or have lost a loved one as a result of another’s negligence, you should speak with an experienced personal injury or wrongful death attorney to learn more about the damages that may be available in your case.

Keep in mind, different states have different laws regarding damages, so it is important to consult with a knowledgeable attorney who can provide advice specific to your circumstances. Plus, an attorney can help you to determine the value of your case and the best way to proceed, so that you can maximize your recovery.

Difference Between Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Claims

To sum up the differences between personal injury and wrongful death claims, a personal injury claim is when an individual suffers physical or emotional harm due to someone else’s negligence. On the other hand, a wrongful death claim occurs when an individual dies as a result of another party’s negligence. Both types of cases require legal assistance in order to receive compensation for the pain and suffering resulting from these tragic situations. Ultimately, it is important to understand the distinctions between these two types of claims in order to pursue justice after tragedy strikes.

Keep in mind that personal injury claims are typically filed by the injured individual, while wrongful death claims are typically brought by surviving family members on behalf of their deceased loved one. In addition, wrongful death claims generally involve more complex proceedings due to multiple parties potentially being involved and higher damages awarded than those in a personal injury case. It is important to consult with an experienced lawyer in order to understand the nuances of these types of cases and receive the compensation you may be entitled to.

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