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Differences Between Personal Injury And Wrongful Death Claims

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Differences Between The Two Types of Claims

Although personal injury and wrongful death claims are very similar, there are some key differences that need to be kept in mind. A personal injury claim is pursued in order to get monetary compensation for injuries sustained due to the negligence of another party.  In a personal injury claim, the injured party was hurt, but survived the accident.  A wrongful death claim, on the other hand, is pursued if a person is killed in an accident caused by another person’s negligence.  In a wrongful death claim, a limited class of relatives to the deceased person is authorized by law to seek compensation for the death of their loved one.

differences between personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits
The key difference here is that the person who sustained the injuries ultimately lost their life due to their injuries.

While personal injury claims are pursued by the injured party and their injury lawyer, wrongful death claims are pursued by certain surviving relatives of the deceased person. This includes the spouse, children, or parents of the person who was killed in the accident are the ones who are able to seek compensation for their losses.

The statute of limitations also varies between the two types of cases as well. For personal injury lawsuits, the statue of limitations for personal injury lawsuits is 2 years from the date of the accident, or 3 years from the date of the accident if it involved a motor vehicle crash. On the other hand, the statute of limitations for wrongful death lawsuits have 2 years from the date of the death to file. If the claimant does not file their lawsuit within the timeline specified by the statute of limitations in Colorado, then the claim will not be accepted by the courts.

Damages that can be collected also change with wrongful death claims. With personal injury claims, you are limited to damages resulting from the injuries as well as pain and suffering. With wrongful death claims, the claimants can pursue compensation for funeral expenses, lost financial support from the deceased person, loss of consortium and loss of companionship, but a wrongful death claim does not include the pain and suffering experienced by the deceased person, nor any medical expenses incurred prior to his or her death.

The Similarities

Both personal injury cases and wrongful death lawsuits have some things in common. Both types of cases involve seeking compensation for losses by means of financial compensation to the affected parties. They also both need to have all four pieces of proof to be a valid claim. These four pieces are: duty of care, breach of duty, causation and damages. In simpler terms, this means that for a valid claim the negligent party needed to have a duty to act in a safe manner, they breached that duty, their negligent actions were a direct cause of the injuries and the injured party incurred damages. Without all four of these pieces, there is no reasonable chance for recovery on either type of claim.

Some other similarities are that best results, you will need a competent personal injury lawyer or wrongful death lawyer on your side. Both types of claims have an incredible amount of nuance that only an experienced injury law firm will be able to navigate effectively and efficiently.

Another similarities between the two kinds of cases are settlement types. Most claims are settled outside of court, especially when there is clear negligence and fault present. When this happens, it is in the best interests for both parties to come to a fair settlement, but what kinds of settlement payouts are available? The two most common types of settlements are lump sum settlements and structured settlements. Lump sum settlements are paid out with one lump sum, so the check is for the full amount at one time. Structured settlements allow the claimants to collect settlement monies over a set period of time, usually with a payment sent to the claimant once a month for a designated period of time.

The types of accidents that bring upon these claims are also similar in most cases. The most common types of accidents that we see in personal injury as well as wrongful death lawsuits are: trucking accidents, car accidents, motorcycle accidents, aviation accidents, boating accidents, slip and fall accidents, medical malpractice and traumatic brain injuries.

Contact Our Law Firm With Questions

There are a lot of differences between these types of cases, and no internet article could ever fully substitute for a free consultation with an experienced attorney, so feel free to reach out to our personal injury and wrongful death attorneys if you need clarification on any of the things discussed in this article. Our law firm has been handling injury & wrongful death lawsuits for decades and you can trust that our attorneys know what they are doing. Our long list of 5 star reviews will show you exactly what our clients think of our team, so feel free to reach out if you need help with your claim. We offer 24/7 free consultations over the phone or you can stop by our office in Colorado Springs, CO to speak with our lawyers in person.

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We serve clients injured anywhere throughout the state of Colorado, but we focus on residents of these areas: Colorado Springs, Manitou Springs, Fountain, Briargate, Monument, Black Forest, Pueblo, Canon City, Larkspur, Security-Widefield, Peyton, Castle Rock, Teller County, El Paso County, Elbert County, Park County, Douglas County and beyond.