Featured News 2016 Wrongful Death Claims in Car Accidents

Wrongful Death Claims in Car Accidents

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2014, 32,675 people in the United States were killed in car crashes. Considering the fact that the vast majority of auto accidents can be traced back to driver negligence, it is safe to assume that most of these accidental deaths could have and should have been prevented.

Ever wondered what happens to drivers who kill others in fatal crashes? If a driver is found responsible for a fatal crash, he or she could face criminal charges and/or the victim's surviving family members can file a "wrongful death" lawsuit against the at-fault driver.

What is a wrongful death lawsuit?

When an innocent person is killed in an accidental death, for example, in a car or truck accident, the decedent's surviving family members can file a wrongful death claim against the legally liable driver.

An individual driver, an auto manufacturer, or even a company can be sued in a wrongful death case if they are legally responsible for the person's death.

While the state laws vary, wrongful death claims are generally be brought by a decedent's close surviving family members, such as his or her spouse, children, or parents. In some states, a wrongful death action must be filed by the executor or personal representative of the decedent's estate.

Common causes of fatal crashes:

  • Speeding
  • Reckless driving
  • Driver inexperience
  • Distracted driving
  • Texting while driving
  • Drunk or drugged driving
  • Falling asleep at the wheel
  • Failing to yield the right of way

If a wrongful death action is successful, the survivors may receive damages for the decedent's medical and funeral expenses, the decedent's loss of future earnings, loss of inheritance, mental pain and anguish, loss of love and support, etc.

Wrongful death lawsuits have a "statute of limitations," meaning they have to be filed within a set period of time, which varies from state to state but is usually within two years of the decedent's death.

To file a wrongful death claim in your loved one's case, contact a car accident attorney today.

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