The difference between a personal injury claim and a wrongful death lawsuit is straightforward. In a personal injury claim, the victim survives their wounds and seeks compensation for their accident-related losses. In a wrongful death lawsuit, the victim’s injuries are fatal, so the representative of their estate seeks compensation.
There are other differences between the two kinds of actions, like who can sue, what the plaintiff has to prove, and the types of recoverable damages.
When a Personal Injury Claim Is Appropriate
A Jacksonville personal injury lawyer can file your claim for damages if you got injured in an accident or event that was someone else’s fault. You have to prove all four of these factors to hold the at-fault party accountable for your losses:
- The defendant had a legal duty toward you, like following traffic laws.
- The defendant breached their duty of care, which is, by definition, negligence. Driving drunk is an example of negligence because that behavior violates the duty to drive carefully.
- The careless conduct caused the accident. The defendant crashed into your car at a red light because their driving ability was impaired by alcohol.
- You suffered measurable losses. Physical injuries satisfy this required element of quantifiable damages.
When you can establish all four of these liability factors, you can pursue a West Palm Beach personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party.
When a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Is Appropriate
A Jacksonville wrongful death lawyer can help if your close relative got injured because of someone else’s wrongful act and died as a result of their injuries. The wrongful act usually involves negligence, meaning that the defendant did not intend to harm or kill your loved one.
Miami wrongful death lawsuits can also come into play when someone dies because of an intentional act by someone else. For example, if your relative died because of an assault or some other criminal act, the family could file a Plantation wrongful death lawsuit.
Recoverable Damages in Personal Injury Cases
The facts of your situation will determine what kinds of damages you can go after and how much compensation you could receive. Every Fort Myers personal injury lawsuit is different. Depending on your circumstances, you might be able to pursue a claim for some of these categories of money damages from the at-fault party:
- The cost of the medical treatment you needed for your wounds, including ambulance and emergency room care, blood transfusions, x-rays, surgery, physical therapy, diagnostic testing, lab work, and prescription drugs
- Lost income while you were away from work recuperating from your injuries
- Lost future wages if you are unable to earn as much money as before the accident because of long-term impairment from your wounds
- Pain and suffering for the physical discomfort and emotional distress of the accident and your injuries
- Other intangible losses like chronic pain, loss of function, disfigurement, post-traumatic stress disorder caused by the accident, and loss of enjoyment of life.
Be sure to tell Your Miami personal injury lawyer about every way that the accident and your injuries have impacted your life. When you settle your personal injury claim, you cannot go back and ask for more money for something you forgot to include in the claim.
Damages in Wrongful Death Cases
If the accident took the life of your loved one, and they would have been able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the defendant if your relative had survived their wounds, you could seek compensation for the family in categories like the following:
- Medical expenses for your relative’s treatments from the moment of the accident to the moment of death.
- The cost of the funeral and burial or cremation.
- The loss to the family of the deceased person’s income
- The family’s loss of the services their loved one provided for the family, like cooking and doing yard work
- The family’s loss of companionship with and guidance from the deceased person.
The court will consider factors like your loved one’s age and remaining life expectancy at the time of their passing and your relationship with them.
Statutes of Limitations in Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Cases in Florida
Your entire personal injury or wrongful death case could vanish before your eyes if you wait too long to take legal action against the at-fault party. Like every state, Florida imposes time limits, called statutes of limitations, on filing lawsuits.
The statute of limitations for personal injury cases is generally two years, according to Florida Statutes § 95.11(3)(a). The statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death lawsuit is generally two years, as well.
If your case has not yet been settled and you miss the filing deadline, the court can prevent you from ever holding the at-fault party accountable.
Our Personal Injury Lawyers and Wrongful Death Lawyers Can Help
At the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine, we go the extra mile for our clients. You can reach out to us today for a free consultation with no obligation.
We Can Help.