WRONGFUL DEATH – WHAT HAPPENS IF A LOVED ONE DIES BEFORE A CAR ACCIDENT CLAIM SETTLES?
Posted on Monday, April 6th, 2020 at 8:23 pm
Motor vehicle accidents result in thousands of deaths and injuries in California. During 2018, 3,563 people died in traffic accidents in California. Sadly, some individuals may survive a car accident only to pass away a few days or weeks after the accident. In some cases, a person could die several months after a car crash from complications arising from injuries sustained in the collision, resulting in a wrongful death claim. When a person dies in a car crash, family members may have a claim for wrongful death. However, what happens when a victim files a personal injury lawsuit for a car accident, but dies before the lawsuit settles or goes to trial?
Death of a Car Accident Victim Before Filing a Lawsuit
If a person dies because of injuries sustained in a car accident, California’s wrongful death laws allow family members to seek compensation from the party responsible for causing the car accident. Depending on the situation, a surviving spouse, partner, children, parents, or siblings may file a wrongful death claim against the at-fault parties. A wrongful death lawsuit cannot bring back a loved one, but it can provide monetary compensation for the family. Surviving family members may receive compensation for:
- Funeral costs
- Medical expenses incurred by the deceased person between the car accident and date of death
- Loss of financial support, including lost wages
- Loss of companionship
- Emotional pain and suffering
A Sacramento wrongful death lawyer can help a family pursue a claim against the negligent driver who caused the car crash.
Wrongful Death of a Car Accident Victim After a Lawsuit is Filed
In some cases, a car accident victim may pass away before a personal injury lawsuit can be settled or go to trial. When this occurs, the lawsuit might need to be dismissed so that a wrongful death lawsuit may be filed. Before dismissing the lawsuit, an attorney needs to carefully review all factors to determine the best course of action. There are deadlines for filing personal injury lawsuits and wrongful death lawsuits in California. It is best to speak with an attorney as soon as possible after an accident to discuss your legal rights and your options for recovering fair compensation for your injuries and losses.
The Insurance Company is Blaming the Victim for the Accident
An insurance company may attempt to blame your loved one for causing the car accident. It is easy to blame someone who is not able to defend themselves. By blaming the accident victim, the insurance company is attempting to avoid liability for the car accident or the death of your loved one. Do not discuss the matter with the insurance company any further. Contact our office immediately to speak with an attorney. We must begin an investigation immediately to determine how the accident occurred and preserve evidence that proves your loved one did not cause the collision. If necessary, we retain accident experts to assist in the investigation.
Contact Our Sacramento Wrongful Death Attorneys for Help
Losing a loved one is never difficult. When the death occurs because of a preventable event, such as a car accident, families are often in shock. It is also understandable to be angry and confused. Our legal team works with families like yours to find out what really happened. We conduct thorough investigations to determine how your loved one died and who is responsible. Let us help your family seek justice for your loved one. Contact The Tiemann Law Firm by calling (916) 999-9000 or by visiting our website to schedule a free consultation with one of our Sacramento wrongful death lawyers.