Personal Injury Claims vs. Wrongful Death Claims: What’s the Difference?

Few experiences can alter the course of a person’s life like an unexpected injury or wrongful death in the family. Besides the pain and emotional trauma, the expenses that follow such an event can cripple the finances of even a well-off family. Fortunately, if the injury or death was caused by the negligence of another person or organization, the victim or surviving loved ones may be entitled to compensation. In this blog, we’ll discuss the key differences between personal injury claims and wrongful death claims. If you have questions about your particular case, turn to Gump & Faiella for legal guidance.

Our Missouri accident lawyers can review the facts of your case and help you make informed decisions. We can also help you navigate through the claims process and handle settlement negotiations on your behalf. Call 800-264-3455 to schedule a free case evaluation with a personal injury attorney.

The Elements of a Personal Injury Claim 

One of the key differences between personal injury claims and wrongful death claims is the types of damages that are recoverable. In Missouri personal injury cases, claimants may be able to recover compensation for:

  • Medical expenses;
  • Lost wages;
  • Loss of earning capacity;
  • Pain and suffering;
  • Scarring and disfigurement; and
  • Loss of enjoyment of life.

Punitive damages may also be recoverable if the defendant acted with a conscious disregard or complete indifference for the wellbeing and safety of others.

Unlike wrongful death cases, the injured party in a personal injury claim is usually both the claimant and the recipient of the damages award. Depending on the circumstances, though, the spouse of the injured person may also be able to recover compensation for loss of consortium, which involves the loss of society, companionship, love, care, sexual intercourse, household services, and affection. 

The Elements of a Wrongful Death Lawsuit 

Wrongful death claims differ from personal injury claims in several ways including the circumstances that give rise to the action, potential claimants, and the types of damages recoverable. Generally speaking, surviving relatives will have grounds for a wrongful death claim if the deceased would have had grounds for personal injury case had he or she survived.

Every state has regulations limiting who may bring a wrongful death claim. In Missouri, for example, potential claimants include the deceased’s surviving:

  • Spouse;
  • Children;
  • Parents; and
  • Siblings.

Damages awards in wrongful death claims may include compensation for:

  • Medical expenses incurred prior to the death;
  • Funeral and burial expenses;
  • Lost income and benefits;
  • Pain and suffering;
  • Loss of care, comfort, and companionship, and
  • Mental anguish. 

Call 800-264-3455 to Speak with a Wrongful Death Lawyer in Missouri 

If you want to file a personal injury claim or wrongful death lawsuit in Missouri, turn to Gump & Faiella. Our legal team takes great pride in helping the injured and their loved ones recover the compensation they need to move on with life.

We help accident victims and their families in Missouri. Call 800-264-3455 or fill out our Contact Form to schedule a free consultation.


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