What If A Family Member Dies in a Car Accident?
By Chris Dixon
The death of a family member is never easy, but it can be especially difficult if a family member dies in a car accident where someone else is at-fault. In 2017 alone, 40,100 people were killed in motor vehicle accidents. After a fatal car accident involving a family member, know that it can be possible to recover damages for your family member’s death. With the help of a wrongful death lawyer who is experienced in fatal car accidents, many damages can potentially be recovered.
Wrongful Death Claim
A wrongful death claim is a claim that can be made by family members of someone who would have had a personal injury claim if they were not killed in a car accident. With the help of a fatal car accident lawyer, a family member can prove that the driver who killed their family member acted negligently. It’s important that all details from the accident are preserved. Pictures of the scene of the accident can be a good way to do this. Witnesses are a valuable piece of evidence from the accident because they can recount what happened at the scene of the accident and confirm that the other driver is at-fault for your family member’s death.
What Must Be Proven If a Family Member Dies in a Car Accident?
Wrongful death can be proven with the following four pieces of information:
- Someone died in the car accident
- The death of the person in the car accident was due to the negligence of another driver
- Surviving family members have had to financially shoulder the costs of the person’s death
- A family member has been appointed as a representative of the deceased’s assets and estate
Types of Compensation Available After a Family Member Dies in a Car Accident
Certain family members can file a wrongful death claim after their loved one dies, but others cannot. ”Real Parties in Interest” of claiming a wrongful death claim are immediate family members protected by civil law. Wrongful death damages that a real party in interest can seek are typically monetary, but emotional damages are eligible to be claimed. The most common types of wrongful death damages include:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Emotional distress of family members
- Loss of the deceased’s wages
- Loss of consortium (claimed by the spouse of the deceased)
- Loss of support
How a Lawyer Can Help Prove Wrongful Death After a Family Member Dies in a Car Accident
A car accident lawyer who is experienced in fatal car accidents can help prove wrongful death after a family member dies by offering their mediation services. Insurance companies can be hard to deal with and it is your lawyer’s job to talk to the other driver’s insurance company for you. They will negotiate with the insurance company using the evidence that they have of your family member’s death in the car accident. If the insurance company offers less than your lawyer thinks your case deserves, they will restate the facts of your case and offer testimonies from witnesses of the accident as further evidence. If the insurance company still won’t offer you a decent settlement, as a final resort, a lawsuit can be opened against them with your consent. All in all, it is essential to hire a wrongful death lawyer when dealing with a family member’s death. Losing a loved one can be hard enough and a lawyer can help make this difficult time and situation easier for you and your family. For more details about how a fatal car accident lawyer can help you and your loved ones if a family member dies in a car accident, contact the Dixon Injury Firm.
Car Accident FAQs
Do You Have to Call the Police After a Minor Car Accident?