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Richmond Personal Injury Lawyer / Blog / Wrongful Death / What is the Difference Between Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Lawsuits?

What is the Difference Between Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Lawsuits?


In the aftermath of a serious car crash or any other type of accident in the Richmond area, it can be difficult to understand the type of lawsuit you will need to file in order to seek financial compensation. Depending upon the details of the accident and the severity of your injuries, you may be able to obtain compensation by filing an insurance claim. In other cases, you may need to move forward with a civil lawsuit against the at-fault party. If you begin researching the types of lawsuits that you may be eligible to file, you are likely to come across information about personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits. You should know that these types of lawsuits are related to one another, but they are also distinct from one another. Our Richmond personal injury and wrongful death lawyers can tell you more.

What Are Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Claims? 

Both personal injury and wrongful death claims are civil lawsuits that can be filed against a party who is responsible for causing injuries to another party as a result of negligence or intentionally harmful behavior, in most cases. Yet the circumstances will differ between these types of claims, and the parties eligible to file these two types of claims also differs.

In a personal injury lawsuit, it is generally the party who has been injured who can file a personal injury claim. In a personal injury lawsuit, the injured person must file a lawsuit against the liable party. With a wrongful death lawsuit, the injured person is no longer living and thus cannot file a lawsuit. As such, another party must step into the metaphorical shoes of the deceased to file a claim. Under Virginia law, the personal representative of the deceased’s estate (the executor) is the party who has a right to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

Timetables for Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Lawsuits in Virginia 

In both personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits in Virginia, the statute of limitations is two years. However, the clock will start to tick at different points in time, and it is important to note this distinction.

The clock in a personal injury lawsuit starts to tick on the date of the injury and must be filed within two years from that date. In a wrongful death lawsuit in Virginia, the clock begins ticking on the date of death (rather than the date of the injury), and the lawsuit must be filed within two years from the date of death. In some circumstances, weeks, months, or even years can pass between the date of injury and death in a wrongful death case.

Contact a Wrongful Death Attorney in Richmond Today 

Learning that someone you love has sustained fatal injuries in an accident or in any type of incident is one of the most devastating things that can happen. At Latham & Martin, P.C., we know how difficult it can be to think about legal concerns in the aftermath of a loved one’s death, especially when that death happens suddenly and because of another party’s negligence. Yet getting in touch with a lawyer as soon as possible is necessary to ensure that you can file a strong wrongful death lawsuit against the responsible party.

By filing a wrongful death lawsuit, you can hold the at-fault party accountable, and you can also seek financial compensation to cover extensive costs resulting from your loved one’s death. An experienced Richmond wrongful death lawyer at Latham & Martin, P.C. can speak with you today about your case and your options for moving forward with a lawsuit in Virginia.




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