Tag Archives: wrongful death

Difference Between Personal Injury Cases and Wrongful Death Cases

If you suffered injuries in an accident due to someone else’s negligence or if your loved one died as a result of someone’s negligence, you may have the right to file either a personal injury case or a wrongful death case to receive justice and compensation for your injuries and losses. Understanding the difference between personal injury cases and wrongful cases can help you better understand which type of case is right for you.

Personal Injury vs. Wrongful Death Cases

When you suffer injuries or losses as a result of someone else’s negligence, you have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit in order to receive compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering. If a person dies as a result of their personal injuries resulting from someone else’s negligence, the family of the deceased person has a legal right to file a wrongful death case. A wrongful death case the same as a personal injury case a victim would file if they had lived after the accident. A family of a victim who dies due to someone else’s negligence may have the legal right to receive compensation for funeral expenses, remaining medical bills, loss of wages, property damage, loss of consortium, loss of companionship, and pain and suffering of the victim.

Types of Personal Injury Cases and Wrongful Death Cases

Many personal injury cases and wrongful death cases stem from similar accidents.. The difference is that in some cases, a victim receives serious injuries (personal injury cases) versus when a victim passes away from their injuries (wrongful death cases). Some of the types of accidents that result in either personal injury cases or wrongful death cases include the following:

  • Car accidents
  • Trucking accidents
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Bicycle accidents
  • Construction accidents
  • Manufacturing defects
  • Defective drugs
  • Medical malpractice
  • Railroad deaths
  • Defective medical devices
  • Drunk driving accidents
  • Premises liability accidents
  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Nursing home neglect and abuse cases
  • Product liability cases

Parties Who May File a Personal Injury or Wrongful Death Claim

Any person who suffers injuries as a result of someone else’s negligent, careless, or reckless actions may file a personal injury claim in order to receive compensation for their injuries and losses.

If a person dies as a result of their injuries related to an accident due to someone else’s negligence, some family members may have the legal right to bring a wrongful death claim on behalf of their loved one. In most cases, spouses, children, or siblings of the victim can bring a wrongful death claim. In the instance that none of those parties exist, a court may appoint a plaintiff ad litem to prosecute the negligent party in the wrongful death claim.

Contact an Experienced Attorney Today

If you suffered injuries or if you have a loved one who died as a result of someone else’s negligent actions, you may have the right to file a personal injury claim or wrongful death claim. Consider visiting with our experienced attorneys at The Law Office of Daniel H. Rose. We will work on your behalf to ensure that you received the full compensation you deserve. Contact our experienced attorneys at 415-946-8900 or online today.

How Can Hearsay Issues Affect a Wrongful Death Case?

Hearsay is a statement made outside of the court that is then presented as evidence by another person during a trial for purposes of submitting that statement as evidence and as fact. In most cases, hearsay is typically inadmissible evidence when a proper objection is made in a timely manner. However, in wrongful death cases, a deceased plaintiff (victim) may offer testimony prior to his or her death. Learn more about hearsay and how it may impact a wrongful death case.

Wrongful Death Cases

A wrongful death case is one in which the victim dies from the injuries inflicted upon them resulting from someone else’s negligence. If the victim lived, they would have had the legal right to bring a personal injury case to receive justice and compensation for their injuries and losses. Because the victim died, the family members of the victim have the legal right to pursue this justice and compensation on behalf of their loved one.

Testimony of the Victim

Many wrongful death cases include testimony from different parties as well as evidence that is presented to the court in order to make a determination of liability and responsibility for negligence with respect to an accident. If the victim lived, they would have had the legal right to testify on their own behalf. However, due to the fact that they passed away from their injuries prior to a trial, the question remains whether or not any statements made by the victim can be introduced as evidence.

Hearsay Exception – Dying Declaration

There is a hearsay exception which is the “former testimony” exception, where evidence is admissible if the other side had an opportunity to cross-examine or introduce the testimony at a prior time. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 804(b)(1); Conn. Code Evid. § 8-6(1); Mass. G. Evid. § 804(b)(1); R.I. R. Evid. 804(b)(1); see also Lohrmann v. Pittsburgh Corning Corp., 782 F.2d 1156 (4th Cir. 1986).

However, the more common hearsay exception that occurs within wrongful death cases is the “dying declaration” exception. If a victim made a statement under the belief that their death was either “imminent” or “impending” and their statement was directly related to the cause or circumstances surrounding their death, it can be admitted as evidence as an exception to the hearsay rules. See Fed. R. Evid. 804(b)(2); R.I. R. Evid. 804(b)(2).

It is important to note that Dead Man Statutes (allowing a hearsay exception for the admissibility of a decedent’s statements) is available only in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. While some plaintiffs still attempt to admit the testimony of a deceased victim under these Dead Man Statutes, in most cases, they will not be allowed within a wrongful death case.

Contact an Experienced Attorney Today

If your loved one died as a result of someone else’s negligence, you may have the legal right to submit their testimony at a wrongful death trial under a “dying declaration” exception to the hearsay law. The laws surrounding wrongful death cases remain complex and legally challenging. Call our experienced attorneys at The Law Office of Daniel H. Rose. We will work on your behalf to ensure that the legal rights of your loved one remain protected. Contact our experienced attorneys at 415-946-8900 or online today.

What Are Non-Economic Damages in Wrongful Death Cases?

If your loved one died as a result of someone else’s negligence, as a family member you may have the legal right to file a wrongful death lawsuit to receive justice in the State of California. While no amount of money will bring back your loved one, you may have funeral expenses, remaining medical bills, lost wages during the time your loved one was too injured to work, or property damage. However, as a family member who lost a loved one, you may have the legal right to also bring non-economic damages as part of your wrongful death lawsuit. Learn more about the different types of non-economic damages that you may have the legal right to receive in a wrongful death case.

Understanding Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages represent more intangible items that represent the loss that a family experiences following a loved one’s death. While these items are truly non-economic, the courts will attempt to assign a financial amount to these damages in an attempt to allow a family to receive justice because they lost their loved one due to someone else’s negligence, carelessness or recklessness. Some of the types of non-economic damages are explained in more detail below.

Spouse and Family Loss

When someone loses a family member, they lose the ability to share a life with them. Spouses lose their life partner, and children lose a parent to guide them through life. This loss of comfort, loss of instruction for children, loss of services in the home and in life, loss of guidance, loss of support, loss of counsel, and loss of training for children is devastating. This loss of consortium and loss of companionship impacts the family permanently. The calculations regarding loss of consortium and loss of companionship are incredibly complex and legally challenging. Visiting with an experienced wrongful death attorney can help you understand your legal rights and realize how you may have the right to file for these types of non-economic damages in your case.

Loss of Income

Your loved one likely was unable to return to work following their accident, resulting in lost wages. Lost wages may include not only a salary or wages, but also missed bonuses, missed promotions, lost employee contributions, lost pension contributions, lost vacation or sick leave, lost transportation allowances, and more. However, if your loved died, then you may also have the ability to include loss of future income as part of your wrongful death claim. The calculation for the loss of future income can also be legally challenging and complex.

Contact an Experienced Attorney Today

There are other types of non-economic damages including the pain and suffering your loved one experienced as a result of their injuries in their accident. Visiting with an experienced attorney can help you better understand what types of non-economic damages you may have the right to file in your wrongful death case, and what amount of compensation you may receive on behalf of your loved one. We understand you are likely grieving during this emotional time and look forward to helping you through this process. Call our experienced attorneys at The Law Office of Daniel H. Rose. We will work on your behalf to ensure that you received the full compensation you deserve. Contact our experienced attorneys at 415-946-8900 or online today.