Have you ever thought about how people compensate for their damages caused by personal injury or wrongful death? The victims of personal injury or wrongful deaths can fulfill their money damages by acquiring their legal rights. But what if you do not have enough means to hire a lawyer for your lawsuit?
The idea might hit your mind about filing a personal injury lawsuit by yourself. But the results may disappoint you very much. Filing a personal injury lawsuit without a lawyer often has adverse and unsuccessful outcomes.
This is mainly because complainants often aren’t knowledgeable about the personal injury laws and the entirety of their scope. A personal injury attorney in Kennewick emphasized that it is crucial for a complainant to file a case with a lawyer. In fact, many firms can provide you with free case valuation in different cities.
Another reason why a lawyer is important is that people often get confused between personal injury and wrongful death. But don’t worry, in this article, we will discuss all the differences and similarities of both terms.
What is Personal Injury Lawsuit?
Let’s first discuss what a personal injury is. Personal injury is damage caused to you or your belongings by someone else’s mistake.
Let’s suppose you are crossing the road via zebra crossing. Suddenly an Overspeed car hits you and causes you some severe injuries. The tort law will be implemented on your case, considering it a personal injury case.
According to the law in the USA, the people who caused the harm will compensate for the damages caused to the suffered person. The law is often referred to as Tort Law in the USA.
What is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
After understanding personal injury, let’s move towards wrongful death. As a personal injury, wrongful death is damage caused by someone else’s mistake.
But there are some differences in both. Wrongful death lawsuits are implemented when your loved one faces death due to someone else’s legal fault. Any immediate member of the deceased person or their spouse can claim a wrongful death lawsuit.
Differences Between Personal Injury and Wrongful Death
- Time Limitation for Filing a Lawsuit
Depending on the situation, both lawsuits have specific time limitations.
Let’s say if you want to file a case for your personal injury, you should claim it within two years of the actual date of the accident. After two years, you do not have any right to file a personal injury lawsuit for compensation of damages.
Like personal lawsuits, wrongful lawsuits also have time limitations for claiming them. Let’s suppose a person got injured in a road accident. But however, he managed to survive for two months. Then the date for claiming a wrongful death lawsuit will extend by two months.
The time limitation for wrongful injury is also two years after the date of death.
- Compensation for Damages
Compensation for damages is the primary foundation of tort laws. In both cases, the faulty party has to compensate for the certain damages they have made to the victim party. But, there are different things you can have compensation for both the possibilities.
Personal Injury Compensation
In a personal injury lawsuit, a victim party can have compensation for
- Medical Expenses
In a personal injury lawsuit, the at-fault party will pay all your medical expenses, including the hospital bills, medicines, etc., until your recovery.
- Lost Past and Future Wages
The faulty party will have to compensate for all the wages lost due to the accident. Even if the victim is not recovered for one year, the opposite party will have to pay his wages for one whole year.
- Pain and Suffering
The at-fault person should compensate for all the mental or physical trauma the victim faced only because of that particular accident.
- Punitive Damages
Punitive damages are not necessary. But they are awarded if the court finds the behavior of the faulty party to be extra harmful.
Wrongful Death Compensation
In case of a wrongful death lawsuit, there are some additional compensations. It includes
- Funeral Benefits
The guilty party will pay for all the expenses of the victim’s funeral. The compensation includes the cost of the grave and all the other funeral expenses.
- Loss of Future Earnings
In case of wrongful death, the at-fault party has to compensate for all the expected future earnings of the victim. Let’s say the victim was 30 years old and had to retire at the age of 45. The defendant will have to compensate for the 15 years of wages to the victim’s family.
- Financial Support
The defendant has to support the victim’s family financially. But this award depends on several factors. If the victim’s death caused financial disability to the victim’s family, the opposite party must compensate for the loss.
- Bringing the Claim
After knowing the main differences between wrongful death and personal injury, let’s move toward who can claim the lawsuit in both situations.
In case of personal injury, the victim has to file a lawsuit against the faulty party. If the victim cannot bring the claim due to severe injuries, the victim’s parents or guardians can file a lawsuit against the opposite party.
However, when it comes to wrongful death, the victim cannot bring the claim obviously. In this case, any immediate relatives like children, parents, or existing spouses can file a lawsuit against the faulty party.
- Collection of Money
Now the question might hit your mind about to whom the money is awarded in both cases. As far as you consider the personal injury, the victim will get all the compensation. But in case of wrongful death, the money will be distributed according to the law of your country.
Let’s say if the victim only has his existing spouse, the spouse will be awarded the money. If the victim does not have a spouse but children, the funds will be divided equally among all children.
If the victim has both spouse and children, then the half amount will be awarded to the spouse, and the other will be divided between the children. If the victim neither has a spouse nor children, then the money will be awarded to his parents.
In both cases, there are many complicated facts and legal issues. It is essential to hire an injury or accident attorney to better understand the facts and figures. Many personal injury lawyers can help you out in recovering your damages even with the cost-free valuation.
As every case is different, it is vital to talk to a lawyer soon after the accident occurs. Doing so will boost your chances and benefit you in the best way possible. Having a lawyer can often make you stronger than your opponent.