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What is the Difference Between Personal Injury and Wrongful Death?

As an accident and wrongful death attorney in north central Florida with more than 30 years experience, I urge victims and their families to seek counsel from a knowledgeable attorney, who is experienced in handling such cases. Every wrongful death is individual. Feel free to give me a call at 800-373-8000 if you would like to discuss your individual case without charge. Here is your answer.

While both suits may be based on a defendant’s negligent action, the differences are substantial. Basically, an action for personal injury and wrongful death cannot exist at the same time. Death causes one action to accrue, while extinguishing the other. Here are some differences:

  • Personal injury is based on common law, and wrongful death is regulated by statute.
  • A negligence action requires a personal injury, and wrongful death requires a death that is not necessarily based on negligence.
  • A personal injury action accrues at the time of the defendant’s wrongful action, once a victim is injured. A personal injury action is extinguished upon the death of the victim.
  • A wrongful death suit only exists after injury results in the victim’s death, but not while alive. A personal injury and wrongful death suit cannot exist at the same time.
  • A negligence action favors the person injured and their spouse, while a wrongful death favors the decedent’s estate and qualified survivors.
  • Recoverable damages vary in both types of cases by statute and case law. (Taylor v. Orlando Clinic, 555 So. 2d 876 (Fla. 5th DCA 1989);

For more information:

I am local accident attorney Jeffrey Meldon and I strongly believe that public education is the first step in the prevention of and/or recovery from a serious accident. My office and I take pride in our work, and the results we get for our clients.

Meldon Law is a regional law firm that is located in Gainesville, Florida. We are personal injury attorneys, litigators and trial attorneys that have been working to get accident victims the justice they deserve for over 40 years throughout North Florida and all over Florida. Accidents involving a car crash, truck wreck, motorcycle, ATVs, bicycle, pedestrian accidents, and dog bites, slip and falls, medical malpractice, and criminal defense are all included in our practice.

For more information on how we can help you, or with any other question you may have, feel free to contact our office at 800-373-8000.

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