When the negligence of one party (person, persons, company, or other entity) results in the death of another, it may be grounds for a wrongful death claim. Every year, thousands of car accidents are caused by negligent conduct such as aggressive driving, driver inattention, failure to obey traffic signals, and driving under the influence of alcohol. If these negligent actions result in a fatal car accident, the victim's parent, spouse, or child may be entitled to file a wrongful death claim against the negligent party or parties.
Auto Accident Lawsuits: Wrongful Death
In order to recover compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit, it must be established that the auto accident victim's death was caused by negligent actions on the part of the defendant and happened because of the car accident. In a successful wrongful death case, the auto accident victim's family members may be able to recover compensation for losses such as:
- Medical bills incurred prior to the car accident victim's death
- Funeral expenses
- Future lost wages
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of parental guidance
- Pain and suffering
Time Limits for Wrongful Death Lawsuits
Each state has its own laws regarding wrongful death claims and the rights of surviving family members. In addition, all wrongful death cases stemming from fatal auto accidents are governed by a specific statute of limitations. If the statute of limitations expires before the wrongful death claim is filed, the family will be unable to recover compensation. If your loved one suffered a wrongful death in an auto accident, a car accident lawyer can explain your rights and help you determine the best way to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit.