Certainly, both personal injury and wrongful death claims can be difficult for families to handle. They take lots of time. Personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits are emotional processes. After losing someone or having a loved one sustain an injury, consider consulting with an attorney to handle your legal claims. We want you to take all the time you need to put your life back together and leave the legal stuff to us.
The attorneys at The Law Offices of Samer Habbas & Associates, PC, will further explain the difference between a personal injury lawsuit and a wrongful death lawsuit. To learn more about which claim we should file on your loved one’s behalf, set up a free consultation today by calling 888-848-5084 or contact us online.
What Is A Personal Injury Claim?
A personal injury claim occurs when another person causes an injury due to negligence or lack of care. These injuries typically require medical treatment and the injured person then files a lawsuit against the party that injured them to receive compensation (also known as damages) for their injury.
In a personal injury case, you may be able to recover damages for multiple different things. The most common damages are:
- Lost wages
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering.
Lost wages damages occur from not being able to work while you are injured and the money and damages you did not receive because you could not work. Typically, the person who injured you will pay all the medical bills you have already paid to treat your injury and an estimate of future medical bills. Finally, pain and suffering are based upon the perceived discomfort you have suffered as a result of your injuries and how much your life has been disrupted. When the courts measure how much your life has been disrupted, they will look to see what you used to do and how much of that you can do now.
Who Brings The Claim?
In a personal injury lawsuit, the party that was injured is the party who brings the claim against the party who harmed them. In certain instances, the injured party’s spouse may be able also to bring a claim for the loss of companionship due to their spouse’s injuries.
What Is A Wrongful Death Claim?
Conversely, a wrongful death claim is a claim that can be filed when the injured party is deceased as a result of the injuries. The death must be connected to the injuries the person sustained from the negligent or careless party.
In a wrongful death claim, the injured party’s representative will try to recover damages for the past medical treatment received by the injured, lost wages, and funeral expenses. They will not be able to recover compensation for pain and suffering because the injured party is no longer alive.
Lost wages in a wrongful death claim are calculated by the lost earning potential of the party. This would be shown by how much the deceased would have contributed to their household expenses. Lost wages can be difficult to calculate because they do not take into account promotions or job changes. Medical treatments are simply calculated by the medical bills that the deceased incurred from the date of injury to the date of their death. Finally, funeral expenses are the expense the family must have paid to have a funeral for their loved one.
Who Brings The Claim?
The biggest difference between a personal injury lawsuit and a wrongful death lawsuit is who brings the claim. As stated above, in a personal injury lawsuit, the injured party can bring their own claim. But, in a wrongful death case, the victim’s family brings the claim. Typically, the claim is then paid to the decedent’s estate, which is usually divided among their spouse and children.
Which Claim Should I Bring?
It is not uncommon for the injured party to first bring a personal injury lawsuit and then have to change courses and bring a wrongful death claim. However, you can not recover from the same party for each claim. If the injured person passes away during the course of the personal injury claim, their family may step in and bring a wrongful death claim, but both claims cannot be brought, only one.
An experienced personal injury and wrongful death attorney can advise you through the process as to when to start your claims and how to handle the legal process. Think about finding an attorney before trying to file either case on your own.
California Personal Injury Attorneys Are Ready To Help You
If you or a loved one have been injured, consult with a personal injury attorney Orange county as soon as you can after the incident. We can help you decide what is a proper course of action and help you get the legal process started. Allow us to take the load off your shoulders so you can rest and recover from the traumatic event that just happened in your life. We are experienced in personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits, and we are ready to help you.
The personal injury attorneys at The Law Offices of Samer Habbas & Associates, PC, are prepared to help you navigate through your personal injury or wrongful lawsuit. Please schedule a consultation today by calling 888-848-5084 or contact us online.
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