Many people know that if they are involved in an accident caused by another person’s negligence, they can file a claim against the at-fault party to recover damages. It is also largely understood that when an accident is so serious it is fatal, surviving loved ones can file a wrongful death claim against the party that caused the accident. A wrongful death claim is a type of legal action personal injury cases handle, but these claims do differ from personal injury cases. Below, our Miami wrongful death lawyer explains the biggest differences between these two claims.
In a personal injury claim, the accident victim files a claim on their own behalf to recover damages, or financial compensation, for their losses. The most common damages available in personal injury lawsuits include the victim’s past and future medical expenses, lost wages and loss of earning capacity, pain and suffering, and more. Any damages that are awarded are given to the accident victim.
Through a wrongful death claim, the representative of the deceased’s estate can file a wrongful death claim. In this type of claim, the representative of the estate can pursue a number of different types of damages. Any damages awarded for the deceased’s losses, such as their medical expenses up until their death, are distributed to the estate. Any damages awarded for the losses of surviving loved ones, such as funeral and burial expenses, are distributed among the beneficiaries.
Time Limit on Injury Cases and Wrongful Death Claims
All injury cases and wrongful death claims filed in Miami are governed by a statute of limitations. The statute of limitations is the amount of time you have to file your claim. The statute of limitations in most personal injury claims is four years from the day of the accident. There are some exceptions to this but generally speaking, if your claim is not filed before this time, you will most likely lose any legal right to any monetary compensation at all.
When filing a wrongful death claim after a fatal accident, the statute of limitations is much shorter. In these cases, you have only two years from the day of death to file a claim. It is important to note that the statute of limitations in wrongful death cases starts on the day of death and not on the day of the fatal accident. The fact that the statute of limitations is so much shorter in wrongful death claims highlights the fact that you should contact a lawyer right away.
Our Wrongful Death Lawyers in Miami have Extensive Experience with Fatal Accident Claims
If your loved one has been involved in a fatal accident, do not file a claim on your own. At Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum Bluestein, our Miami wrongful death lawyers will always protect your family’s rights and help you obtain the full and fair damages you rightfully deserve. Do not hesitate to call our office at 305-371-2692 or fill out our online form to arrange a free consultation with one of our knowledgeable attorneys.