Thursday, June 1, 2023

Is Wrongful Death a Personal Injury?

Knowing the category of your lawsuit claim is not always easy. And this is especially when it’s your first time facing such cases. It’s also very common to get challenged and find it hard to determine the specialty of a case like a wrongful death claim because of its complexities. For example, even though personal injury and wrongful death claims involve other people’s negligence that results in the harm of another person, these two claims still do not mean the same thing. Most people find personal injury and wrongful death claims hard to differentiate because both arise when negligent, intentional actions or the recklessness of someone else results in the harm of another person.

But besides having these similarities, personal injury and wrongful death claims are still very different. To know the differences and similarities between wrongful death and personal injury claims, you can visit established law firms and explore everything they cover about these and other types of lawsuits via their websites or social media handles. For instance, click here to learn more about McLeod Brock Law and how experienced attorneys handle wrongful death and personal injury claims.

The Difference Between Personal Injury And Wrongful Death

The difference between wrongful death and personal injury claims starts from their definitions. In a personal injury claim, the person harmed in the accident files a lawsuit against whosoever is responsible for the negligence or recklessness that causes the accident and results in damages or injuries.

In a wrongful death claim, the lawsuit is filed by the survivors, friends, or relatives of the victim whose death is a result of others’ negligence. The claim in a wrongful death lawsuit is against anyone believed to be responsible for the accident that wrongfully claimed the victim’s life.

The Differences in Compensation

Because a personal injury claim victim is alive, their case is compensated differently from that of a wrongful death victim. Compensation for a personal injury lawsuit includes payments for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and punitive damages.

The compensation for punitive damages aims at punishing the defendant for negligence and recklessness. For example, suppose the defendant caused the accident while under the influence of substances. In that case, a personal injury victim gets compensated for punitive damages as a warning to the defendant against drinking and driving.   

Further, the law uses punitive damage compensation as a way to warn all drivers in society against reckless and negligent driving behavior.

As for a wrongful death lawsuit, the compensation for damages includes payments for medical expenses incurred before the victim’s death. It also provides payment for funeral costs, loss of future earnings, loss of companionship, comfort, care, and financial support to the victim’s family.

This compensation includes the deceased backpay, earnings, and wage benefits from the time of their accident until their death. This compensation may also include the financial benefits the victim would have saved if they were alive and commissions from their wage from the time of the accident until the victim died.

Pain and suffering are compensated to the surviving family, who receive it as awards for the mental pain and suffering they undergo due to losing a beloved one. Depending on the nature of the victim’s importance to the family, the compensation for pain and suffering can include payment for the loss of companionship and love awarded to their spouse.

Or, it can be a compensation for the loss of parental guidance and breadwinner to the victim’s children. The same can also be compensation for the loss of protection awarded to the entire family.

Who Can Pursue a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

As every attorney will explain, wrongful death claims are treated as civil actions rather than criminal charges such as manslaughter. Because of this, the rules regarding wrongful death claims differ from state to state. In some states, you can pursue a wrongful death claim of your beloved one, but in other places, the person responsible can be a family member or not.

For example, most wrongful death claims are pursued by executors. An executor is appointed by the deceased’s family or by the law to be responsible for all matters involving the pursuit of compensation.

As you can see, seeking compensation for a deceased victim is not impossible but is sometimes hard without the right knowledge at your disposal. You need to know who is eligible to pursue the case and the kids of compensation to request. 

As a result, you can only do this if you know the categories of such cases. Luckily, as seen above, you can always effortlessly claim a wrongful death lawsuit and correctly pursue it until you’re rightly compensated with the help of an experienced attorney.