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Wrongful Death Claim on Behalf of Family Killed in Car Crash

When your loved one dies in a car accident, you may want to seek justice for what has happened. While money or a law suit can never bring your loved one back, courts do allow for legal claims to be made on behalf of the deceased who have died in a tragic accident. Who can bring these wrongful death claims?

We have asked attorney Alaina Sullivan about what you should do. Here is what she had to say:

What Is a Wrongful Death Claim?

A wrongful death claim is brought against someone who has caused another individual’s death, either intentionally or negligently. Wrongful death law suits allow the deceased person’s estate to file a lawsuit against the person who is considered liable for his or her death.

In car accidents, if the loved one has died as a result, the deceased’s estate would seek a wrongful death claim against the at-fault driver if his or her actions are considered negligent or intentionally reckless.

Who Files a Wrongful Death Claim?

A wrongful death claim can be filed by any family members of the deceased, but they are normally brought by the person representing the estate, on behalf of all of the surviving members of the deceased.

The attorney who is handling the estate can often handle this matter for the family as well, and normally, any damages received would then go to the estate for use of the deceased’s family, as listed per his or her estate plan.

Can I File a Wrongful Death Claim on Behalf of a Family Member Killed in a Car Crash?

What Has to Have Happened for a Wrongful Death Claim to Apply?

In situations where the victim is intentionally killed by the person at-fault, such as the driver seeing someone crossing the road and deliberately drives towards and hits that person, a wrongful death suit could be filed.

However, situations normally arise when a car accident happens because of negligence or situations where the individual who caused the accident should have known that his or her behavior could have led to the death.

For example, if the driver who caused the accident consumed a significant amount of alcohol and drugs before getting behind the wheel and then killing someone, that would be an example of negligence resulting in death.

Burden of Proof

To succeed, the plaintiffs need to meet the same level of proof that the victim would have to have met had he or she lived. They need to show that the defendant had a burden of proof to act reasonably and cautious, and that the defendant breached that duty. Further, they would need to show that, because of the defendant’s actions the deceased’s life was taken negligently or intentionally.

What Kind of Damages Are Available?

Different types of damages can be available in a wrongful death claim. The plaintiff can see the deceased person’s pain and suffering he or she suffered prior to dying. Medical costs, funeral and burial costs can be sought, as well.

Also, if the loved ones relied upon the deceased’s income, they can seek the loss of the deceased person’s expected income or services he or she would have provided. Other damages can include loss of consortium, as well as loss of love and companionship, in the case of a surviving spouse.

Contact an Attorney Today

If your loved one has died as the result of a car accident and you have questions as to wrongful death claims, it is always recommended you contact an attorney today to discuss your case if you do not currently have a lawyer or have any questions.

A licensed personal injury attorney will be able to evaluate your case and determine if you have a claim against the other party’s insurance company. To receive the compensation for your medical bills, property damages, and pain and suffering, you should speak with a personal injury attorney in your area today.

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