What To Do If A Family Member Dies In A Car Accident – 2020 Guide

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Family members of the deceased should file a wrongful death claim with the help of a professional lawyer to receive compensation from the wrongdoer.

Losing a loved one can be very traumatic and unbearable, especially if they die in an accident. It becomes harder to accept if the accident is caused by another person’s negligence or wrongful act.

Road accidents have become common. You hear about them every other day. No amount of compensation will be able to recover the damage and emotional sufferings faced by the victims’ families, but there are legal steps you can take.

In this article, we will talk about some key things that you should consider when a family member or close one dies due to a car accident.

Issue A Wrongful Death Claim

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If someone dies because of another person’s legal fault, a wrongful death lawsuit is applicable to that situation.

This lawsuit exists in every state. In most states, only immediate family members such as parents, spouses, or children can claim this.

In very few states, distant family members such as grandparents can also file this lawsuit.

Key Information That Needs To Be Proven

In order to prove a defendant guilty of a wrongful death case, the lawsuit claimant would need to provide witnesses or evidence that will show enough information regarding the whole incident.

There are four elements, as established by statute, that is involved in a wrongful death case.

In order to get justice and financial benefits, it is a must for the claimant to prove those elements. Those are-

  • The occurrence of an individual’s death
  • The defendant’s wrongful conduct caused the death
  • If the death had not occurred, the decedent then would claim a personal injury suit
  • The state can cover the damages

There are also differences between these cases and hit-and-run cases due to the intent of the defendant.

When Is It Appropriate To Issue A Claim?

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The answer is normally within 2 years of the loss according to the ‘statute of limitation’ permissible period.

Contact a trained and experienced fatal injury lawyer to understand your rights before the deadline.

A wrongful death law firm is committed to bringing justice to the deceased and their family. A successful claim will also provide proper compensation, and law firms like ericramoslaw.com work to support you.

Types Of Available Compensation

When you can legally and successfully issue a wrongful death claim, you will be assisted by the panel that oversees fatal accidents and professional lawyers to receive compensation on behalf of the deceased person.

You do not have to be someone who was dependent financially on the person who died to make the claim. Here are the possible compensations you can claim-

  • Medical expenses related to the deceased’s prior injury or illness
  • Lost salary & benefits
  • Loss of companionship
  • The suffering endured by the deceased before death
  • Burial & Funeral Cost

You can also claim punitive damage. In a lot of cases, reckless behavior like drunk driving or other wanton behavior of the driver is responsible for the road accident.

Punitive damage claims are meant to be a form of punishment so the wrongdoer gets discouraged.

All the money in the world will not make up for the death of a loved one, but by taking legal action, the family can receive temporary financial aid to get things back together, and as we said, it is also a form of punishment.

What Does Insurance Cover?

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Legally, the insurance providers can pay an amount of $6000-$8000 as a funeral payment to cover all the costs incurred due to the funeral and burial of the deceased person because of the unexpected death.

In rare cases, the family members might get extra generous amounts of benefits, such as medical and recovery costs, destruction repairing cost, etc. accrued prior to the passage of the deceased person.

It is important to disclose everything to the insurance company immediately.

Experienced Lawyers Can Help

There are several reasons why you should hire an experienced lawyer. Some of them are-

1. Efficient evidence

A lawyer who specializes in fatal car accidents can help strengthen the claim by providing sufficient key information for wrongful death.

2. Better Negotiation With Insurance Companies

Insurance companies promise to provide coverage, but it is sometimes overwhelming to deal with them, especially in cases like these.

Professional lawyers, however, are trained and have the experience to go through all the clauses, terms, and conditions to negotiate with the insurance company and get you what you had been promised.

Your lawyer will show the key information of the incidents and may even be successful in getting you some sort of bonus or extra benefit.

3. Further Transparency

Another advantage of hiring a lawyer is that you will be able to detect if an insurance provider is paying less than your case deserves.

Then your lawyer will further provide testimonials from the accident witnesses and other evidence.

If the insurance provider is still not giving you a fair payout, with the help of your lawyer, a lawsuit may be filed against the defendant as the last option.

How To Hire The Right Lawyer?

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Choosing a lawyer who will fully work with dedication for your best interest is a very important task and should not be conducted without proper analysis. Here are a few things you should check-

  • The level of experience the lawyer has in this field
  • The time he/she will be able to invest
  • The lawyer’s peer reviews
  • Online reviews
  • Whether or not the attorney has any disciplinary action against them.

Things can be overwhelming during this time, but finding the right lawyer can take care of the legal procedures without you worrying. Even in times of personal injuries, you should hire a lawyer.

Final Thoughts

No amount of compensation can bring your loved ones back, but taking legal actions immediately is the right thing to do so that wrongdoer gets proper punishment, and the family of the deceased gets compensation and justice.

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