Can I be a beneficiary of a wrongful death claim for a family member if I was also injured in the accident and am filing my own personal injury claim?

Yes, an accident victim may file a personal injury claim and could be a beneficiary of a wrongful death claim. However, the victim and beneficiary, often with help from a Clarksburg wrongful death attorney, must prove that someone else’s negligence was the cause of the fatal accident.

Filing a Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Claim after an Accident

If an accident caused serious injuries to one person but took the life of a family member, there are options for seeking compensation. The first is a personal injury claim, which would address the specific injuries and losses experienced by the person who files the claim.

The following are examples of damages that may be recoverable in a personal injury claim:

  • medical costs;
  • lost wages;
  • property damage;
  • pain and suffering;
  • permanent disability;
  • reduced quality of life; and
  • disfigurement.

Completely separate from a personal injury claim, an injured victim may pursue and be a beneficiary of the wrongful death lawsuit. Beneficiaries may include a spouse, children, and/or other dependents of the decedent. This claim could address similar damages as already mentioned. For instance, the medical expenses incurred as a result of the family member’s fatal injuries may be recoverable.

A claim for wrongful death could also provide compensation for lost wages. The difference however, is that more could be available in this type of claim because it may include earning potential.

Other costs that may be addressed in a wrongful death claim are reasonable funeral expenses. But there are also noneconomic damages that could be recoverable, such as the mental anguish experienced by the surviving family members. Or loss of consortium, which applies to the various types of losses suffered by a spouse, such as affection and companionship.

Legal Help with a Clarksburg Wrongful Death Attorney

Pursuing more than one claim can be complicated and time-consuming. To learn what legal options might be available, contact a Clarksburg wrongful attorney at The Miley Legal Group. We can evaluate the circumstances surrounding the accident and help determine what type of claim(s) could be filed and the kind of damages that may be recoverable by personal injury victims and beneficiaries or a wrongful death claim.

Tim Miley
Injury Lawyer, Author, & Owner of The Miley Legal Group