The Difference Between Wrongful Death And Personal Injury Claim

Losing a loved one due to an accident is devastating in itself. When financial troubles like funeral costs, lost income, and medical bills are thrown to the mix, the situation is overwhelming. While getting good compensation is possible, walking through legal options may get confusing. Personal injury claims are for the injured individual’s losses; on the other hand, wrongful death claims are for the surviving family’s financial and emotional losses. Let’s discuss the differences between these two in more detail.

What Do You Understand By Personal Injury Claims?

Personal injury claims require compensation for accidents that happen because of another person’s negligence or carelessness. Most of the time, the injured person files a claim against the person who caused the injury. In such a scenario, the negligent party’s insurance will pay the personal injury claim if it is successful.

Types of Compensation You Can Claim For Personal Injury

You may entitled to get the following compensations:

  • All your medical expenses that happened due to the accident.
  • Loss of income in the duration.
  • Loss of employability.
  • Disfigurement or permanent impairment of any kind.
  • Pain and suffering because of the accident.
  • Loss of enjoyment in life.

Wrongful Death Claims

Wrongful death claims, as the name indicates, take rise from fatal accidents due to another party’s negligence or misconduct.

When the injured party is no longer living, the victim’s family typically brings the claim to life with the help of an attorney. If they manage to get the claim accepted, the court will order the payment to go to the decedent’s estate. Mostly, their spouse and children come under this umbrella.

Types Of Compensation You Are Entitled To

You can ask a fatal negligence legal expert to help you evaluate the kind of compensation that may be available in your case. Some of the common ones include:

  • All forms of economic damages for expenses incurred after the decedent’s death. Usually, these encompass medical bills and funeral costs.
  • Loss of future wages for surviving spouses and children who relied on the deceased for financial support.
  • Damages for pain and suffering endured by the victim before death.
  • Compensation for mental and emotional damages suffered by loved ones after the loss.

So, What Kind Of Claim Should You Go For?

Wrongful death and personal injury claims are a gateway to recover expenses like medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering of the accident victim. In cases such as a fatal DUI or an accident that involves intentional misconduct, both types of claims may recover damages to punish the defendant.

The main difference between these two is whether fatality occurred and the person filing the claim. A personal injury claim is only possible if you suffered a non-fatal injury. However, in the case of losing a close family member, a wrongful death attorney could help you file a wrongful death claim on their behalf.

Additionally, there are times when one may start with a personal injury lawsuit but then have to switch the scenario to a wrongful death claim if the victim passes away. In a nutshell, regardless of the claim you file, you can only bring one (not both).

Closing Note

If you are in a situation similar to this, do not hesitate to consult with a skilled lawyer from our firm. We can help you in every way possible. Get in touch with George Edwards III, a founder and partner at Edwards Sutarwalla Samani LLP from Howard University School of Law, his main practice areas include civil rights and personal injury. Call us at (713) 565-1353 for more information.


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