How Are Wrongful Death Cases and Injury Cases Different?

By Richard Console on September 9, 2011 - Comments off

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:

  1. The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty (e.g. obeying traffic laws).
  2. The defendant was negligent in this duty or actively caused the plaintiff harm.
  3. The defendant’s negligence or actions, in whole or in part, caused the plaintiff’s injury.
  4. 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:

  1. The defendant owed the deceased a duty.
  2. The defendant was negligent in this duty or actively caused the deceased harm.
  3. The defendant’s negligence or actions, in whole or in part, caused the deceased’s death.
  4. 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.

Other Considerations

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.

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