Car accident injuries can be devastating. But nothing can hurt worse than losing a loved one. The death of a family member can be especially difficult if it resulted from a preventable car accident. Too often this is the case, fatal car accidents frequently being the result of recklessness or negligence.
If you have lost a loved one in a car accident, you and your family likely have questions about how something like this could have happened. You probably also have concerns about what happens next. How will you move forward after such a loss?
Adding to the emotional aspects of a family member’s death might be financial considerations. For example, how will you cover any medical bills related to an accident? What about funeral costs? If the deceased was a provider for the household, you might worry about how lost income will affect family finances.
Getting Justice After A Fatal Car Accident
Family members who remain living following the passing of a loved will likely have a challenging time recovering from a death. Even as they deal with their grief, other family members involved in the accident may also be dealing with conditions such as head injuries or back pain. Filing a civil lawsuit against a responsible motorist is one path forward a family can take to at least address some of the financial hurdles before them.
Those who suffer damages resulting from the loss of a loved one may seek compensation through a wrongful death claim. In general, the damages a family can recover include:
- Loss of companionship of the deceased
- Mental anguish
- Loss of income and financial support contributed by the deceased
- Loss of gifts the deceased had promised to bestow
- Loss of inheritance rights caused by the death
A family may also file a survival action. Unlike a wrongful death action — which is brought on behalf of the heirs and beneficiaries of the deceased — a survival action seeks to recover damages suffered by the person whose life was ended by the accident. Compensation for any damages is awarded to the decedent’s estate.
Damages available in a survival action include:
- the pain and suffering a person experienced before dying
- lost earnings
- medical expenses
- other damages the victim would have been entitled to seek in life
Find Sound Legal Help
Filing a wrongful death suit or a survival claim can be a complicated process. It’s a good idea to secure the services of a seasoned car accident attorney who has experience in these types of cases. This legal representative will review the circumstances of a fatal car accident and advise you on the most favorable legal options available to your family.
If you do decide to move forward with a lawsuit against the party who was at fault in a fatal car accident, a lawyer can help to build a case. Your attorney will compile evidence demonstrating another motorist’s negligence, potentially including the relevant police report, accident scene photographs and eyewitness testimony.