Coping with the aftermath of a fatal wreck
Losing a loved one in a motor vehicle accident is a difficult reality to bear. If you believe that your loved one's death resulted due to another party's negligence, it is important to explore your legal options.
One option that immediate family members may consider is to file a wrongful death claim. Taking legal action can help you and your family members recover monetary compensation to defray the financial losses associated with your loved one's death. There are several points that must be present in a wrongful death lawsuit:
Five critical points
In order to file a wrongful death lawsuit, the following five conditions must apply. If your case does not fulfill all five conditions, it will likely be dismissed.
- The decedent must be human
- Your loved one's death was due to another party's purposeful, negligent or reckless conduct
- Your loved one's death caused financial hardship for immediate family members
- A personal representative must be appointed to manage the decedent's estate
- There must be damages
While these five points form the basis of a wrongful death case, there are other important factors to consider. For example, you will be asked to determine the monetary amount you are seeking. Calculating financial losses can include a host of factors and types of damages, including:
- Final expenses -- Funeral, burial and similar costs
- Loss of earning capacity -- Compensation for lost income and wages
- Non-economic damages -- Grief and emotional stress
Other damages may also be sought. Evaluating the entire case and how your loss affected you and your family can provide an indication of what else may be claimed.
Moving on with life
In addition to seeking monetary compensation for your losses, a wrongful death lawsuit can help answer questions and provide closure. Knowing that you are holding responsible parties accountable can go a long way towards helping you heal and move forward.