Is Wrongful Death a Personal Injury?

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Last modified on October 6, 2023

Losing a loved one is one of the most difficult things anyone can experience. If someone’s negligence caused the death of a loved one, it can be even more difficult to come to terms with. This blog post will explore whether wrongful death is considered a personal injury under the law.

What is Wrongful Death?

Wrongful death is a legal term that refers to a situation where someone dies due to another person or entity’s negligence, recklessness, or intentional act. In such cases, the surviving family members or other beneficiaries of the deceased may be able to seek compensation for their loss.

Wrongful death claims can arise from a wide range of circumstances, including:

What is Personal Injury?

Personal injury is a legal term that refers to harm someone causes to another person’s body, mind, or emotions. These claims typically arise from accidents or intentional acts that result in harm to the victim.

Personal injury claims can arise from a wide range of circumstances, including:

  • Car accidents
  • Slip and falls
  • Medical malpractice
  • Dog bites
  • Assault and battery
  • Defective products

Is Wrongful Death Considered a Personal Injury?

Wrongful death and personal injury have similarities. In a personal injury lawsuit, the victim seeks compensation because someone harmed them. In a wrongful death lawsuit, the administrator of the deceased’s estate can file the lawsuit on behalf of the deceased’s family members. Through the administrator, the family members of the victim can seek compensation for the injuries their loved one suffered. Essentially, the wrongful death suit allows the family to pursue the legal action the deceased could have taken if they had survived.

Both wrongful death and personal injury lawsuits can be based on negligent acts, medical malpractice, or intentional acts.

In a wrongful death case, the surviving family members or other beneficiaries may seek compensation for a wide range of damages, including:

Funeral and Burial Expenses

The surviving family members or other beneficiaries may seek compensation for funeral and burial expenses incurred as a result of the death. This can include expenses such as the cost of the funeral service, the casket or urn, burial plot, and other related costs.

Medical Expenses Incurred Before the Death

If the deceased incurred medical expenses as a result of the injuries that ultimately led to their death, the surviving family members or other beneficiaries may be entitled to compensation for those expenses.

Loss of Financial Support

The surviving family members may be entitled to compensation for the loss of financial support that the deceased would have provided had they not died. This can include the loss of income that the deceased would have earned over their lifetime, as well as other financial support that the deceased would have provided to their family, such as insurance benefits or retirement benefits.

Loss of Companionship

The surviving family members may also be entitled to compensation for the loss of companionship and guidance their loved one would have provided. This can include the loss of the deceased’s love, affection, and emotional support.

Pain and Suffering

If the deceased experienced pain and suffering before their death, the surviving family members or other beneficiaries may seek compensation for that pain and suffering.

Punitive Damages

In some cases, the court may award punitive and compensatory damages. Punitive damages punish the defendant for their actions and to deter others from engaging in similar behavior. Punitive damages are typically only awarded in cases where the defendant’s actions were particularly egregious or reckless.

It’s important to note that the specific damages that may be available in a wrongful death case will depend on the specific circumstances of the case, as well as the laws of the state where the case is being heard. An experienced wrongful death attorney can help you pursue the compensation that you deserve.

Work with an Experienced Wrongful Death Attorney

If you have lost a loved one due to another person or entity’s negligence or intentional act, it is important to work with an experienced wrongful death attorney. The attorneys at Murphy Crantford Meehan have the training and support staff to take on the most complex wrongful death cases. We approach every client with respect and a willingness to listen to their problems, and we are dedicated to finding the best solution for each client’s needs. The attorneys at Murphy Crantford Meehan have the experience and dedication necessary to fight for the compensation you deserve.

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