How Is A Wrongful Death Case Different From A Personal Injury?

The difference between personal injury and wrongful death claims is that a wrongful death claim includes the passing of an injured victim. Cases involving wrongful death are among the worst and most challenging to manage. Let’s examine them and how is a wrongful death case different from a personal injury:

What is a Wrongful Death Case?

The surviving family members may file a “wrongful death lawsuit” if someone dies or is murdered due to another’s carelessness or misconduct. These legal actions seek restitution for the losses suffered by the survivors, including burial costs, missed companionship, and pay from the deceased’s job.

When someone passes away due to another person’s legal wrongdoing, there is a wrongful death lawsuit. They may include a bartender who supplied alcohol to an intoxicated driver or the negligent driver in an automobile collision. State-by-state variations in wrongful death laws affect who may file claims and if there are any restrictions on the number of damages that may be awarded. They were first developed to give widows and orphans financial help.

To prevail in a wrongful death claim, the plaintiff typically needs to demonstrate the following:

  • A person’s death.
  • Someone else’s carelessness or malicious intent was the cause of the fatality.
  • The continued existence of family members was financially harmed due to the death.
  • Designating a personal representative to oversee the estate of the deceased.

Some examples of a wrongful death cases are:

  • Car Accidents
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Accidents at Work
  • Semi-Truck Accidents

What is Personal Injury?

Personal injury law is one of the most prevalent legal topics that prompt consumers to see an attorney. Personal injury laws include many incidents, including slip and fall accidents, wrongful death, dog attacks, construction accidents, and nursing facility abuse.

Product liability and premises liability laws are part of personal injury law. When someone is hurt on someone else’s property, premises licensing laws hold the property owner accountable. Laws governing product liability hold responsible parties liable for losses and harms brought on by faulty goods.

A general negligence suit has the following legal components:

  • Your injury’s perpetrator owes you a duty of care.
  • The parties broke this duty of care.
  • Your harm was caused directly and immediately by the breach.
  • Resulting of the breach, you suffered losses.

Some examples of personal injury cases:

  • Slip and Fall Accidents
  • Premises Liability
  • Home Abuse
  • Boating Accidents

Difference between a wrongful death case and a personal injury

Personal injury and wrongful death cases vary according to the particulars of the accident. Let us see the differences between the two cases:

Who can bring the claim?

The injured party often files a personal injury claim on their own, or a parent or guardian does so on their behalf or the behalf of a juvenile or another person who lacks capacity. A person who has died in an accident cannot file a lawsuit on their behalf. Alternatively, surviving family members may file a wrongful death lawsuit to obtain damages. Similar to a personal injury claim, wrongful death cases are only permissible after the victim has passed or died due to the actual occurrence.

Distinct states have different laws governing wrongful death. For instance, a wrongful death suit must be filed in New York by the dead person’s representative. No random family member may file a claim for wrongful death. The person chosen by the court to serve as the estate’s representative may be the decedent’s spouse, parent, or child.

Where does the money go?

In a typical personal injury case, the victim is given the award or settlement for damages. In a wrongful death lawsuit, the money is given to the estate’s heirs in line with state law—usually, the surviving spouse, kids, or parents of the dead file the lawsuit. In the absence of children, the husband receives the real prize.

If there are kids but no wife, the prize is split evenly amongst the kids. If there are children and a spouse, the children divide the remaining money equally while the spouse continues to receive $50,000 and half of it. The dead person’s parents will get the settlement if neither their children nor their spouse is still alive.


Nothing can replace the void left by a departed family member, but getting justice for their passing can aid in healing and help with some responsibilities. The survivors of accident victims are entitled to compensation, although “wrongful death” claims differ slightly from other personal injury claims lawyers. The above differences would help you identify them as two separate cases.

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