Personal Injury FAQ

Difference Between Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Cases?

Personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits have one thing in common: They arise when the negligent, reckless, or intentional actions of another cause one to suffer harm. Whatever the particular instances of the claim, both cases involve negligence. Other than that common factor, these claims are very different and their differences must be understood before a person attempts to file either of them.

A personal injury claim is filed by the party who has suffered the injury caused by the at-fault party. In a personal injury claim, the victim may be able to recover compensation for his or her own damages, including:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost past and future wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Punitive damages

The person making the claim must be able to prove negligent actions on behalf of the person alleged of causing the injury. The amount of compensation depends on how significant the injury was.

A wrongful death claim, on the other hand, is filed by the survivors of the victim and is being filed against the person who is believed to be responsible for the death, and seeks compensation for the following:

  • Medical expenses
  • Funeral benefits
  • Loss of future earnings
  • Financial support (including educational assistance)
  • Loss of care, comfort, and companionship

Wrongful death claims use preponderance of evidence instead of "innocent until proven guilty."

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