Law Offices of Kennedy and Brown

A Legal Claim Guide for On Car Accident Wrongful Death


For surviving family, wrongful death is a devastating experience. Along with grief of the departed loved one, the family can find themselves under unforeseen financial problems as a result of the wrongful death. Thus, they need to know about their rights and proper resources to overcome this problem.

What is Wrongful Death in Car Accident?

Law says that the wrongful death accident is an unintended fatality caused due to the recklessness or negligence of someone else. That someone can be a vehicle manufacturer, authorities responsible for road maintenance, or another motorist, etc.

A car wreck wrongful death case involves filing a statement against the negligent party or person to pursue compensation to overcome the financial burden incurred due to the death of their loved one.

Causes of Car Accident Wrongful Death

There can be many factors involved in wrongful death in a car accident. This kind of case varies depending upon who or what was behind those factors. Car accident wrongful death causes may occur due to:

  • Another driver was talking, texting, or using any other application on the cellphone while driving.
  • Poor judgment, fatigue, recklessness, or intoxication on behalf of another driver
  • Poorly maintained or improperly built road or highway
  • Invisible or bad signage on the highway or road
  • Failure of providing inadequate warning about the road hazard by local authorities
  • The vehicle distributor, installer, or manufacturer who released the car with faulty equipment to the market
  • Another driver, driving the vehicle with inadequate training
  • Carrying the load on a vehicle that exceeded its maximum weight
  • Improperly inspected or poorly maintained truck
  • When trucking companies orders to stay on the road for longer which is the violation of federal’s legal limit
  • Negligence of a chauffeur or a cab driver by not obeying the road safety laws.

Above are some factors that are usually involved in the car crash wrongful death. Individual persons, government organizations, or other companies are often involved in these cases. Depending upon the situation, the wrongful death lawsuit plaintiff can claim damages against individuals or authorities.

Who Can Bring Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

Usually, the representative of the deceased victim’s estate files the wrongful death claim on behalf of the relatives of the survivors. Relatives may vary from state to state. In every state, the spouse may file the wrongful death claim on behalf of his/her deceased spouse. Parents can also bring the wrongful death action if any of their minors is killed in the accident, and children can also get compensation over the wrongful death of their parent.

The disagreement among states comes on whether the adult child’s parent can sue or whether the adult child can claim for the wrongful death of the parent, whether the adult siblings can sue, or extended family members like grandparents, uncles, aunts, or cousins can sue for the wrongful death of their relative.

It will be harder to have the claim right when the familial relationship with the victim is more distant. Even in some states, the deceased’s romantic partner can also bring the wrongful death claim or anyone who had financial dependence on the victim.

What to Prove Must In Wrongful Death Case?

In a wrongful death claims, to hold the defendant accountable, the plaintiffs in the case must meet the proof mostly through the deceased victim’s estate that the victim would meet if he/she lived. For instance, taking negligence as a reason to show that the culprit owed a duty of care to the victim, or defendant breached that duty, and it was the proximately the cause of death as the damages plaintiff is trying to compensate are due to the wrongful death.

Damages Recovery In A Wrongful Death

Categories of damages for which the plaintiff can receive compensation for include:

  • The pre-death pain and suffering of the deceased person (it is often termed as ‘survival’ claim)
  • The cost incurred in the medical treatment of the deceased victim as a result of injuries before death
  • Burial and funeral costs
  • Expected income loss of the deceased victim
  • Loss of inheritance due to wrongful death
  • Value of the duties that the deceased person would have provided
  • Loss of nurturing, guidance, and care that the departed person would have provided
  • Loss of companionship, love, and loss of consortium

Deadline For Filing The Wrongful Death Lawsuit

It is a very important aspect of the wrongful death case. The claimant might lose the right to do so if the lawsuit is not filed before the deadline. Depending on the several factors, there is the exception, but the standard timeframe of the wrongful death claim is two years from the death date.

The deadline is one year from the date of death if the death of a person is due to the government authority’s negligence. Notice of the claim must be provided within the six months from the date of death.

The Fort Collins car accident attorney has years of experience with wrongful death car accident tragedies. Contact now as there is no cost in meeting with their car accident wrongful death expert attorneys and discuss the possible legal options.

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About the Author

I offer personalized legal aid in Forty Fort, PA. I'm specialize in a variety of case areas, including personal injury, slip and fall injuries, workers compensation, auto accidents, dog bite attacks, wrongful death and survival cases, and Social Security disability.

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