Personal injury cases and wrongful death cases have similarities and differences. For each type of case, compensation can be based on the negligence or bad actions of a defendant, but the parties who are compensated are different. An injury victim is the plaintiff in an injury case. A deceased injury victim’s dependents or beneficiaries are the plaintiffs in a wrongful death case. Both types of cases require the plaintiff(s) to prove the defendant’s liability by establishing certain legal elements.
The Elements of a Personal Injury Case
A personal injury case has four elements that should be established with the help of a NJ personal injury lawyer. It must be determined that:
- The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty (e.g. obeying traffic laws).
- The defendant was negligent in this duty or actively caused the plaintiff harm.
- The defendant’s negligence or actions, in whole or in part, caused the plaintiff’s injury.
- The plaintiff’s injury has caused him or her damages.
The Elements of a Wrongful Death Case
A wrongful death case has four elements that should be established with the help of a wrongful death attorney. It must be shown that:
- The defendant owed the deceased a duty.
- The defendant was negligent in this duty or actively caused the deceased harm.
- The defendant’s negligence or actions, in whole or in part, caused the deceased’s death.
- The deceased’s death has caused financial damages for his or her dependants or beneficiaries.
If a company (not an individual) is responsible for a fatality, a wrongful death suit is the only choice in seeking retribution for damages.
Most personal injury and wrongful death cases turn on negligence or bad action, but a defendant can also be strictly liable for an injury or death, in which case comparative negligence no longer applies. The author, Richard Console, is a personal injury attorney with over 18 years of experience. At Console & Hollawell, we can inform you of the nature of your case and help you to recover the compensation that you deserve. If you or a loved one was injured or wrongfully killed in an accident, contact the award-winning New Jersey injury attorneys at Console & Hollawell today 866-778-5500.