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A serious personal injury is a disabling injury. The disability may be temporary or permanent, partial or total. A serious injury causes a significant interruption in normal lifestyle due to loss of work, substantial pain, disfigurement, or the like. A serious injury adversely affects earnings and the quality of life for you and your family.

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The compensation you are entitled to receive often depends upon the type of accident causing the injury. For instance, there are different rules of recovery when the injury results from an automobile accident than when it is an on-the-job injury.

To understand the rule that would apply to your situation, you need to consult with an attorney.
You must be aware of certain time limitations for acting to protect your interest and the interest of your family. If you do not act within certain time limits, you may lose your right to make a claim in the future even if the injury, which now seems relatively insignificant, gets much worse as time goes by. These time limits are particularly short when medical malpractice may have caused the injury.

The law permits the estate to file a lawsuit on behalf of the heirs. Wrongful death is a term used to describe the type of lawsuits brought by the surviving relatives of a deceased person, against the person who caused the death to occur.

A wrongful death action is separate from the lawsuit that may be brought on behalf of the deceased person (for example, by the deceased person's estate) for damages resulting from injuries to the deceased. For procedural purposes, these actions are typically combined into one lawsuit. The idea behind a wrongful death lawsuit is that the wrongful death, in addition to injuring the person who died, also injured people who depended upon the deceased for financial or emotional support. The wrongful act may be a negligent or careless act such as careless driving or a deliberate act such as manslaughter.

Wrongful death damages can be economic, such as the loss of an income provider or a homemaker, and it can also be non-economic in the form of the emotional impact of losing a loved one. In a wrongful death lawsuit, the amount of damages can be a very complicated question. Survivors can usually sue for medical bills paid for the care of the person who was injured as well as for burial expenses. Because the idea is that the survivors have been injured by the absence of the person who died, determining the amount of damages requires consideration of what probably would have occurred in the future. The damages that can be assessed may include an estimate of the amount of earnings the person who died would have earned if they had lived and the pain and suffering experienced by the survivors due to the absence of the deceased person. Estimates of future earnings require the use of an economic expert testimony regarding the net present value of the deceased person's future earning capacity.

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