Knowing The Difference: Personal Injury vs. Wrongful Death

When it comes to injuries caused by accidents, personal injury and wrongful death cases are similar in many ways. Both are caused by a negligent party, and both claims seek compensation for damages and losses caused by the carelessness of the person responsible for the accident. However, each claim applies to a specific case and provides different types of compensation. So what are the main differences between a personal injury claim and a wrongful death claim?

Personal Injury Claim

In short, a personal injury claim is exactly that: a claim filed by someone who was personally injured in an accident. This type of claim is filed against the party at fault in the accident and seeks compensation for damages such as:

  • medical bills,
  • lost wages,
  • disfigurement, and
  • pain and suffering.

The person filing the claim must be able to prove the other party’s negligence. Compensation may vary depending on the severity of the damages. In cases of gross negligence, punitive damages may be awarded to the victim.

Wrongful Death Claim

Unlike a personal injury claim, a wrongful death claim is filed by the survivors of a victim who was killed in an accident. The deceased person’s family may file this type of claim against the party responsible for the death of their loved one. Winning a wrongful death lawsuit may provide compensation for:

  • funeral expenses,
  • loss of companionship,
  • loss of future earnings, and
  • financial support for the deceased person’s family.

Similar to personal injury, a wrongful death claim must prove negligence by the other party based on a majority of the evidence from the accident. Note that in most cases, the person filing the claim must be a close family member or beneficiary of the victim.

Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Cases in Texas

According to the Texas statute of limitations, individuals have two years after an accident to file a personal injury or wrongful death claim. A Texas personal injury attorney can review the accident and build your case based on the evidence, so the best time to contact a lawyer is immediately after being in an accident. Your lawyer will be able to answer any questions you have about your case and let you know if you have a valid claim.