Posted on Wednesday, March 22nd, 2023 at 8:00 am
If you’ve lost a loved one in a car accident, no amount of financial compensation will ever begin to make up for that. There are, however, many current expenses and, if the victim was also the family breadwinner future ones that you are entitled to seek damages for. At this horrific time, we want you to know that you are not alone. Our attorneys have a great deal of experience with these types of cases and we’re sensitive to all that you are going through. Below are some frequently asked questions regarding wrongful death car accident cases.
What’s the difference between accidental death and wrongful death?
The key difference is intent and whether the plaintiff acted recklessly or negligently in causing the death. For example, if a driver was following all applicable traffic laws and a fatal accident occurs, it would most likely be deemed an accidental death. If, however, the driver was speeding or texting while driving and it caused a fatal accident, it would be a form of negligence and a wrongful death case could be filed.
Who can file a wrongful death lawsuit?
The following family members can file the suit: surviving spouse or domestic partner and surviving children of the deceased. In some cases if there are no surviving immediate family members parents or siblings may be able to take legal action against the responsible party.
What types of damages can be sought for wrongful death?
Damages are divided into two categories. First, ones that are paid to the estate for expenses related to the death. These can cover: medical bills for care the deceased received prior to passing and funeral or cremation costs. The second category of damages are those paid to the surviving family members for losses they have personally suffered such as mental and emotional suffering, loss of financial support or income the deceased would have provided, loss of guidance, companionship and consortium.
Can a wrongful death suit be filed if there is also a criminal case underway?
Yes. A criminal case may result in jail time for the responsible party, but not financial compensation for the victim’s family. That requires a civil lawsuit. The timing of the two cases in inconsequential but a wrongful death case must be filed within the two-year statute of limitation from the date of death.
Have you or a loved one been a victim of a DUI, car, truck, or motorcycle accident, dog attack, or a slip and fall incident? If so, Tiemann Law Firm can help. Our experienced personal injury attorneys will fight for the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free, same-day consultation by calling: (916) 999-9000 or toll-free: (800) 712-2000.