When Can Wrongful Death Occur in a Car Accident?


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Car accident deaths can give rise to a wrongful death claim. The person or the party who caused the accident that resulted in the death can be sued for wrongful death by the surviving relatives of the deceased.

Wrongful Death

When a wrongful act or negligence results in death, the death is a wrongful death. In case of a wrongful death, the deceased person’s family or legal heirs can file a civil lawsuit for damages. Unlike other civil lawsuits where the evidence against the defendant must be proved beyond reasonable doubt, in a wrongful death claim the standard of proof is preponderance of evidence. In the wrongful death lawsuit, the plaintiff must claim that the deceased person died due to negligence of another and that the plaintiff is entitled to damages and compensation. In a wrongful death lawsuit, the damages will depend on the pecuniary or financial injury, the loss of emotional support, loss of inheritance, hospital expenses and funeral expenses. Generally the damage will include interest from the date of death. Wrongful death lawsuits are governed by state law.

Car Accidents and Wrongful Death

Many car accidents occur all over the country every day. Some are mere fender benders, some result in property damage and some can result in death of a person. For a car accident to result in a wrongful death the death must be caused, in whole or part, by the conduct of the party whose negligence resulted in the accident. The deceased must be survived by his or her spouse, children or dependants and other beneficiaries and the death must result in monetary damages or loss.

The Right Defendant

In a wrongful death claim it is important that you must identify the person or party whose negligence resulted in the accident. Many times the other driver might not be responsible. Sometimes the accidents could have been caused by a manufacturing or product defect in the vehicle in which the deceased was traveling or the vehicle that caused the accident. In such cases, the wrongful death claim must be made against the manufacturer, designer and distributor of the defective product. If the car that caused the accident had recently undergone repairs and incomplete or incorrect repair was the cause of the accident, then you can sue the mechanic. Many times accidents can be caused by poor road construction or maintenance, improper signage, poor lighting, etc. In such cases, you can seek compensation from the government agency responsible for maintaining the road.

Getting Legal Help

If you have lost a near one in car accident, you may have wrongful death claim. Consult with an experienced car accident attorney. The attorney can investigate the accident and file a wrongful death claim against the responsible person or party.

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