No person ever wants to hear that their loved one died from severe injuries suffered in a car accident. The chaotic aftermath that ensues after a fatal car accident can often leave a family devastated emotionally and financially.
Unfortunately, research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that more than 32,000 Americans die in car accidents every year. No amount of money will ever bring back your loved one. However, you may feel overwhelmed at the amount of the remaining medical bills and funeral costs, not to mention the emotional loss.
If the car accident resulted from someone else’s negligence, you could seek justice on your loved one’s behalf. Consider working with a fatal car accident lawyer at Ben Crump Law, PLLC, who can help protect your legal rights. Call our team today at (800) 959-1444 for a free case review.
Personal Injury vs. Wrongful Death Lawsuits
When a person suffers injuries when a negligent driver causes a car accident, they have the legal right to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent party. They could receive compensation for outstanding medical bills, loss of wages due to an inability to return to work, property damage, emotional distress, and pain and suffering.
However, when victims die from their accident-related injuries, they obviously no longer can bring a lawsuit on their behalf. Therefore, as the Legal Information Institute explains, a victim’s family members can bring a wrongful death claim on behalf of their loved one who died in the car accident. In this way, the family of the loved one attempts to secure the justice and compensation that they otherwise could have pursued if they had lived.
Additionally, a wrongful death lawsuit will allow a family to bring claims to receive compensation for funeral expenses and the emotional losses they experienced after their loved one’s passing.
Legally Establishing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Typically, only immediate family members have the legal right to pursue a wrongful death claim with an insurance company or through the courts. To establish a wrongful death claim, the victim’s family must provide evidence that the negligent party directly caused the injures and death of their loved one.
In some cases, building a wrongful death claim can become incredibly complex and legally challenging. Some types of evidence and information required in a wrongful death lawsuit involving a car accident include:
- Conducting a complete and independent investigation into the car accident to determine liability and responsibility.
- Contacting and utilizing the expertise of accident reconstruction specialists and medical expert witnesses.
- Having experts regarding manufacturing and design make determinations whether the car accident resulted from any manufacturing design flaw or defect.
Building a wrongful death claim or lawsuit can take a substantial amount of time and expertise. Family members of victims who suffered fatal injuries in a car accident have the legal right to pursue justice. If your loved one died in a car accident that you believe resulted from someone else’s negligence, consider visiting with a fatal car accident lawyer to help you through this difficult time and ensure your legal rights remain protected. Call Ben Crump Law, PLLC, today to get started.
Wrongful Death Negotiations with Insurance Company
In most cases, the first step for family members who had a loved one die from fatal injuries in a car accident is to visit with the insurance company of the negligent party. The best-case scenario is that the insurance company will settle the wrongful death claim by offering the family a fair settlement.
Unfortunately, in many cases, insurance companies use deceptive and deceitful tactics to manipulate family members into accepting an inadequate settlement. Some important considerations regarding negotiations with insurance adjusters include:
- Insurance companies could attempt to record conversations with you regarding your loved one’s accident. Never consent to these recordings as they could use anything you say later to justify lower settlement offers.
- Never provide your loved one’s complete medical history to an insurance company. They only have the legal right to receive medical records directly related to the accident that caused their death.
- Never cash a check from an insurance company unless you understand that this likely will be the only check you receive. No matter what an insurance adjuster tells you, insurance companies often attempt to get a victim (or the family of a victim) to cash a check that means they have unknowingly agreed to a full settlement.
You might want to visit with a fatal car accident lawyer when you receive a settlement offer for your wrongful death claim. An attorney can review the offer and negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf to foil these unscrupulous tactics.
Compensation for Wrongful Death Claims and Lawsuits
Negotiating with an insurance company or filing a wrongful death lawsuit are the last things on your mind after your loved one passes away due to someone else’s negligence in a car accident. However, it is important to remember that you only have a limited time to bring a wrongful death claim, called the statute of limitations.
You have the legal right to pursue compensation for the following damages:
- Funeral and burial expenses.
- Any outstanding medical bills.
- The loss of their wages during the time your family member recuperated from injuries related to the accident.
- The loss of your loved one’s future income.
- Their pain and suffering.
- Loss of guidance to their children.
- Loss of consortium to their spouse or other family members.
- Loss of caregiving capacity.
- The family’s grief and emotional trauma following their loved one’s death.
Consider How a Fatal Accident Lawyer Can Help You
Unfortunately, thousands of families each year face the unfortunate circumstance of losing a loved one in a car accident. If yours is one of those families, you have the right to pursue justice and compensation on behalf of your loved one. A fatal car accident lawyer can help you build a case, gather evidence, negotiate with insurance adjusters, and argue your case in court if necessary.
Call Ben Crump Law, PLLC, today at (800) 959-1444 to speak with a team member about your potential wrongful death claim.