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How Does A Wrongful Death Claim Differ From A Personal Injury Case?


A wrongful death claim in Texas is very similar to a personal injury action, but there are key differences between these two types of cases that can make or break your request for compensation. At the Gilde Law Firm, our experienced and dedicated Houston personal injury lawyers are here to help explain the differences and file the right type of case for your accident claims. To learn more, call or contact our office to schedule a free consultation.

Who Files the Claim

The first major difference between a wrongful death and personal injury claim is who files the lawsuit. A personal injury action is filed by the injury victim against the person who caused the accident. In a wrongful death case, the injury victim can no longer file a claim on their own behalf. As such, the law allows specific people to file the case, which includes the victim’s spouse, children, and parents. If no one in these categories files a claim or if the victim did not have a surviving spouse, children, or parents then the personal representative of the victim’s estate can file the lawsuit on the victim’s behalf.

Who Collects Compensation

The next major difference between a personal injury and wrongful death case is who collects compensation for the claim. In a personal injury case, the injury victim collects compensation for the harm caused by the accident. In a wrongful death claim, the spouse, child, or parent who files the claim collects compensation for the victim’s heirs who stand to inherit the assets of the victim’s estate. If the personal representative files the case because there is no spouse, child, or parent, then the compensation is collected on behalf of the estate, which is then distributed according to the victim’s will or Texas laws of intestacy.

Compensation for the Accident

The type of compensation collected also differs between a personal injury case and a wrongful death claim. In a personal injury case, the victim can collect economic and noneconomic damages associated with the accident, including:

  • Medical bills,
  • Lost wages,
  • Property damage,
  • Loss of future earning potential,
  • Pain and suffering,
  • Emotional distress,
  • Disability and disfigurement, and
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

In a wrongful death claim, the compensation collected by the loved ones of the victim or their estate includes the following:

  • Loss of earning capacity,
  • Lost care, maintenance, services, support, advice, and counsel the deceased would have provided his or her surviving family members,
  • Mental pain and anguish by the surviving family,
  • Lost love, companionship, comfort, and society, and
  • Lost inheritance, including what the victim would have saved and left to surviving family members if he or she had lived.

To learn more about the differences between these two claims, talk to our office today.

Call or Contact Us Now

Do you have more questions about filing a personal injury or wrongful death case after an accident in the Houston area? If so, the experienced and knowledgeable attorneys at the Gilde Law Firm are here to help. Call the office or contact us today to schedule a free consultation of your case.



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