Difference Between a Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Case

April 2, 2019 | Ed Bernstein
Difference Between a Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Case

The loss of a loved one is always devastating, no matter the timing or the circumstance.  But when a personal injury is involved or the situation deteriorates into a wrongful death, the burdened of grief is compounded by the financial, legal, and unforeseen entanglements that come with it.

Family, friends, and survivors of personal injuries and wrongful deaths have some very ugly practicalities to deal with. Things like bills and lost wages do not go away when someone is hurt and can no longer work. Despite the terrible feelings these accidents generate, the necessities of life still must be addressed. Groceries must be bought, rent must be paid, payments have to go out as always, and debts must be settled. The injuries incurred bring about their own expenses, from medical bills to repairs, and disability accommodations.  The emergency room, doctors, hospitals, and parties involved will still send out bills and expect payment.

Most of us never think about the after effects of surviving a personal injury, let alone facing the concept of filing a lawsuit in regard to it. However, as we slide down the slippery slope into these realities we come to realize we’re going to need help facing the financial burdens and lifestyle changes that have been thrust upon us through no fault of our own. 

When you have been injured through someone else's carelessness or negligence, and when your loved one has been killed because of actions or inactions of someone else, you won’t be on the fence about how to deal with it, but you will probably know very little about what to do next and the legalities involved in the situation. That's why you need the help of an expert lawyer in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Personal Injury Claims

Personal Injury ClaimsA personal injury claim is typically filed when someone is injured due to someone else's carelessness, negligence, or in follow up to a criminal act. Car accidents often lead to personal injury claims, for example. But they can also occur in cases of defective products, falls at poorly maintained businesses, or due to hazards at businesses created by poor, untimely, or mismanaged properties or practices, like a public pool with inadequate lifeguards.

Personal injury claims usually seek reparations for financial damages due to the injury. Most of the time litigants simply want to be able to pay for their current and future medical bills and to be compensated for lost wages, whether those wages are in the past or in the future. Sometimes litigants seek damages for pain and suffering. This does not always mean the injured party is trying to "cash in" on an unfortunate event.  It can simply be that the injured person is seeking compensation for the inconvenience and pain endured.

Personal injury claims are most commonly begun and continued through their various stages by the injured party themselves. Occasionally, a spouse will make the personal injury claim due to the inability of an injured spouse to act well on their own behalf. Most of the time, personal injury claims involve only the injured party or parties and the person(s) or business(es) that harmed them.

Wrongful Death Claims

Wrongful Death ClaimsA wrongful death claim most typically results from a personal injury situation that deteriorates further and ends in death, a wrongful death, in that it did not have to happen. When a wrongful death claim is filed, the personal injury claim that preceded it is withdrawn. The law does not allow both types of litigations to exist for the same claimant at the same time.  Wrongful death claims usually seek compensation for lost wages, medical expenses, and funeral expenses. Pain and suffering no longer apply in wrongful death cases as at this juncture the patient has passed away.

Wrongful death claims are commonly presented by family or representatives of the estate of the deceased. When thinking about wrongful death suits, one is best advised to consider that the family is simply trying to resolve pressing financial issues and not always bent on turning misfortune into a windfall.


While personal injury cases and wrongful death cases appear quite similar, and as unsavory as pursuing them may appear to those on the outside looking in, keep in mind that, with the right lawyer, these kinds of claims get either settled or go to trial. Either way, you need the legal advice of Edward Bernstein & Associates.


Ed Bernstein

Edward M. Bernstein, Esq. is the owner and founding partner of Edward M. Bernstein & Associates, and one of the most recognizable figures in Nevada. Ed is one of state’s premier personal injury attorneys and has hosted The Ed Bernstein Show for over 31 years. He has served the Las Vegas community for decades with dozens of community appointments and terms of service. In the year 2000, he was Nevada’s Democratic nominee for the United States Senate.

Ed received his B.A. from Long Island University in 1971 and his J.D. from Widener University in 1975. Since then, Ed’s professional accolades include numerous publications, honors and awards, court appointments, and has been named one of America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators.