What can I do if I lose a loved one in a fatal car accident?

When a loved one is unexpectedly killed in a car accident, it can be one of the most difficult experiences family members and loved ones face. It is helpful for surviving family members to be familiar with the legal protections available to them when they have wrongfully lost a loved one in a car accident.

What are common causes of car accidents?

Unfortunately, negligent, careless and inattentive drivers can cause serious and fatal car accidents by engaging in negligent driving behaviors such as:

  • Distracted driving;
  • Texting while driving;
  • Reckless driving;
  • Driving under the influence of either drugs or alcohol;
  • Failing to adjust for poor weather or traffic conditions;
  • Driving while fatigued; and some other causes as well.

What is a wrongful death claim for damages?

When a loved one has been wrongfully killed by a negligent driver, family members may be left suffering the loss in addition to unexpected damages that may result. Families may suffer unexpected financial challenges following the loss of their loved one as they are already trying to cope with their loss.

A wrongful death claim for damages:

  • Is brought on behalf of the lost loved one’s estate for the benefit of surviving family members;
  • Against a negligent driver responsible for causing the fatal accident; and
  • Allows surviving family members to recover compensation for their emotional and financial damages associated with the loss.

The damages available to surviving family members depends on the unique characteristics of the victim and circumstances of the situation but can help them with medical and funeral expenses and the loss of support and services, including financial support. It can also help to hold negligent drivers accountable. A wrongful death claim for damages is worth surviving family members understanding when they have suffered the loss of a loved one in a fatal accident.