If you have been involved in a car accident where your loved one passed away, you may be able to sue for wrongful death. This is a type of personal injury claim that allows you to recover financial and emotional damages for the deceased after they have passed, as well as damages for the family’s suffering. A skilled car accident and wrongful death lawyer will allow you to grieve while they craft your case.
Wrongful death lawsuits are extremely complicated. Langdon & Emison is here to help.
Call us today for a free consultation to find out more about how we can help with your case.
What do I do if my loved one died in a car accident?
With drivers moving at high speeds, getting easily distracted, and not obeying traffic laws, it is almost too easy for a tragic accident to occur. With over one million Americans dying every year due to car accidents, it is clear that drivers need to learn the consequences of their actions.
When car accidents result in wrongful deaths, the victim’s family is likely to suffer significant losses. Not only have they lost a loved one suddenly but they have also lost the financial and emotional support that the individual provided to their household.
Langdon & Emison can help you file a wrongful death lawsuit to get justice for your loved one’s death in a car accident. Call us today at 866.931.2115.
What is wrongful death?
Wrongful deaths occur when someone dies due to another’s negligent actions when they otherwise would not have perished. If another driver’s reckless behavior, such as texting while driving, led to your loved one’s death, then the other driver is liable.
If the car accident was caused by poor weather, the at-fault driver may not have been able to avoid the accident. In this case, it is difficult to determine how to get justice for your loved one.
That is why you need to work with an experienced car accident and wrongful death lawyer who knows how to pursue damages in every case. Call us today to schedule a consultation.
Will the at-fault driver face criminal charges?
A car accident and wrongful death lawyer knows that drivers are not always criminally prosecuted in these situations. Drivers who acted recklessly and caused the death of another driver could face criminal charges like vehicular manslaughter, but not always.
The local court system is responsible for determining whether a driver was criminally negligent in their actions and needs to be held liable in this way. They will need to consider why the accident occurred, such as if impaired driving was the cause or ignoring traffic laws, and whether outside factors influenced the accident.
For example, inclement weather or poor road conditions are not the fault of either driver. The other driver cannot truly be at fault if they could not control the conditions.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Car Accident
You cannot file a wrongful death car accident lawsuit unless you are directly related to the decedent. This means that friends, distant relatives, or boyfriends/girlfriends cannot file a legal claim.
To file a claim, you need to be one of the following:
- The executor of the deceased’s estate
- The spouse of the deceased
- A child of the deceased
- If the deceased had no spouse or children, then a parent of the deceased
These restrictions ensure that only the people who would directly suffer from the loss of the deceased’s contributions to the household can seek compensation for their death.
In every state, the executor of the deceased’s estate is able to file a wrongful death lawsuit on their behalf. However, the executor does not get to keep the recovered damages. These are added to the residue of the Will, to be distributed in line with the deceased’s instructions.
Wrongful Death Damages
Wrongful death damages are different from those of a personal injury lawsuit or a car accident lawsuit. In this case, the deceased is unable to claim their own damages. So, the courts allow a direct family member or the executor of their estate to do so in their stead.
Wrongful death damages can include the deceased’s funeral costs, any medical costs leading up to their death, any pain and suffering they endured before their passing, and any other costs associated with the end of life care.
Additionally, the family can file damages. The deceased loved one would have provided an income to the family, household help, and child care. With these taken away unexpectedly, the at-fault driver is responsible for covering these damages to help the family get back on their feet.