On average, there are 6 million auto accidents every year in the US, 3 million of which involve injuries to drivers and passengers. Sadly, over 30,000 of those injuries prove to be fatal. When you lose a loved one under these circumstances, you may be entitled to seek compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit.
Common Causes of fatal Auto Accidents
Auto accidents are a common occurrence throughout the US. Just think about how many times you’ve been listening to traffic reports about what routes to avoid because traffic is backed up due to an accident. According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the most common causes of fatal auto accidents include:
• auto manufacturer defects
• driver fatigue
• driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
• highway or street defects
• poor weather conditions
• reckless driving (e.g. passing when it’s unsafe to do so, racing, speeding, etc.)
• talking or texting cell phones while driving (also referred to as distracted driving)
When a person is killed or perishes in an auto accident caused by the negligent actions or behavior of another individual, the victim’s surviving family members have the right to file a wrongful death claim and sue the at-fault party for damages.
Elements of a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Every US state has some type of wrongful death statute in their laws and while they are all similar, it’s important to understand the laws that apply in your state before filing your claim after the loss of a loved one. You must prove the following 4 elements if you want to win a wrongful death lawsuit:
• Another driver was responsible for the accident that caused the death of your loved one or family member.
• The decedent is survived by a spouse, children, or other beneficiary or dependent.
• The other driver acted carelessly, negligently, recklessly, or was otherwise responsible for the accident.
• There are monetary damages that resulted from your family member’s or loved one’s death (in some cases, damages can be monetary and non-monetary)
Furthermore, in order to file a wrongful death lawsuit, you must be a parent, spouse, or child of the deceased. Losing a family member or loved one in an auto accident that was caused by another individual’s carelessness, negligence, or recklessness can be a devastating experience.
Although legal action cannot bring the deceased individual back, it can help to ease the financial burden associated with their untimely death. If you’re considering filing a wrongful death lawsuit, talk to an experienced personal injury attorney in Grimsby before filing your claim. They will help you understand the whole process and will assist you to ensure that justice is done.