Wrongful Death and Automobile Fatalities
Wrongful Death Lawyer
Automobile accidents occur every day. Automobile accidents that involve fatalities are still, unfortunately, a grim reality. You are more likely to be killed in a car accident than take a trip by air, train or even on a boat. Most of us get behind the wheel every single day. We trust that the drivers we come in contact will all abide by the rules of the road and we can all get safely to our destinations.
Distracted driving is one of the most common causes for automobile accidents. Just in 2014, 3179 people died and over 430,000 were hurt in car crashes because the drivers were distracted. That number climbs higher and higher every year. Distracted driving is primarily looking at your phone while driving, be it texting, calling, reading emails or texts, or finding music to play.
When someone’s actions causes the death of someone else, be it intentional, accidental, or because the vehicle they were driving mechanically malfunctioned, the deceased’s family can sue the guilty party for damages through a wrongful death lawsuit.
What are the main causes of automobile accidents?
In no particular order, these are some of the more common causes for fatal car accidents:
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs (this includes prescription drugs)
- Distracted driving, i.e. texting, talking on the phone, checking email
- Inclimate weather conditions
- Road defects (potholes, ruts, disintegrated shoulders)
- Reckless driving including racing, unsafe passing, speeding
- Inexperienced drivers
- Elderly drivers
- Automobile manufacturing defects
- Driving while tired
Components Required in Order to Bring a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
While the basic elements needed are the same from state to state, there are some requirements and deadlines that are different depending upon the state where the lawsuit if being filed. Typically, the representative of the deceased’s estate must prove the following in order to be successful in a wrongful death case:
- Your loved one died in an accident that was caused by another driver
- The other driver was negligent, deliberate or was at fault for any other reason and thus caused the accident
- The victim left behind a child, spouse, or others that were beneficiaries or dependants
- Because of the fatality, there are expenses and monetary damages (and in some states non-monetary damages)
Who Represents the Deceased in the Wrongful Death Claim?
If the deceased had a will, the court may ask that the executor represent the estate and the family members. Usually, an immediate family member such as a child, spouse, parent, or sibling of the victim can file the lawsuit.
Contact an Attorney
A personal injury attorney with experience specifically in wrongful death lawsuits can answer any of your questions about how to proceed if your loved one was killed in an automobile accident and you and your family are suffering from not only the physical loss, but the unfortunate reality of loss of financial support for you and your family. A skilled lawyer, like a wrongful death lawyer in Houston, TX, understands the devastation that occurs when a family member is unexpectedly and tragically lost at the hands of someone else’s negligence. Contact us today to discuss your family’s situation and we can tell you how a successful wrongful death lawsuit can help ease at least the financial loss experienced by your family.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from John K. Zaid & Associates for their insight into wrongful death.