Over 1 million people will die in a car crash each year in the United States. Some perish on the spot, while others will live long enough to get medical attention only to pass away from their injuries later. Sadly, survivors in a crash where someone was killed will struggle to cope with their grief and don’t know where to turn for support.
With that, we will address one of the most frequent queries regarding this: What do you do when there is a death in a car accident?
The Driver That Is Found To Be “At-Fault” Can Be Hit With A Criminal Charge, But There’s Exceptions
Most vehicle collisions will happen because one driver is driving negligently. If another person dies as a result of the collision, the driver could be charged with a criminal offense — vehicular manslaughter, being an example.
However, not every fatal collision will result in a criminal charge for the “at-fault” motorist. The district attorney of the county decides whether or not to prosecute a motorist in a fatal vehicle accident. This determination could be a felony, based on a range of variables to evaluate whether or not the driver was “criminally liable” in the death.
Frequently, district attorneys will assess whether:
– The accident was due to the driver being under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Generally, a driver is prohibited from operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Usually, a fatal accident of this kind will result in the driver being charged with a crime.
– The motorist disobeyed traffic regulations. When you are behind the wheel, every motorist has a legal responsibility to respect the laws of the road and avoid harming others. When a n accident occurs as a consequence of a flagrant breach of driving regulations, including speeding, the driver is often prosecuted.
– Whether the car crash was the result of something beyond the driver’s control. A fatal crash happening as a result of a situation beyond a driver’s control, such as bad driving conditions, unanticipated car trouble, or what is legally considered an “Act of God”. In these instances, it is unlikely that they would be charged with a crime.
A “Wrongful Death” Lawsuit Could Be Filed In Civil Court By The Estate of the Deceased
If a family member is killed in an automobile accident, the estate of the deceased person is entitled to file a “wrongful death” suit in most states, if the victim would have had the option to pursue a personal injury claim had they survived the accident.
The following are the pertinent considerations:
There Must Be a Legally Responsible Party
To have a legal claim to go after any financial compensation on behalf of the survivors of a deceased car accident victim, there must be a party you can demand compensation from. This means that the accident had to have been caused in part by someone other than the accident victim’s improper actions.
Because of this, each vehicle collision is unique. Many are caused by a driver’s carelessness. The motorist and insurance carrier will be held legally responsible for the wrongful death of anybody killed in such accidents. In many legal suits, an experienced car accident lawyer will exhaust all avenues, looking beyond simply the “other driver” and find any other persons who were to blame for the tragic accident.
How Much To Seek Depends On The Financial Resources Of The Liable Party
The family of a driver killed in a car accident is entitled to full compensation from the at-fault party. A family’s ability to receive compensation is contingent on the financial capabilities of the entity responsible for their loved one’s death. If the “other driver” is solely responsible, the amount of insurance that driver has will, in most situations, determine the amount the mourning family may expect to receive.
This is why skilled car accident lawyers will do a deep dive into a wrongful death case to uncover every person with possible legal culpability. If they are able to discover a second or even third responsible party, the settlement could double or even triple in value.
There’s usually accident lawyers free consultation to discuss all options in a potential car accident lawsuit. Doing this will allow you to decide where to start if a situation like this arises.