Car Accident Fatality and Wrongful Death
We have all heard the statistics that say flying in an airplane or on a train or riding in a boat is safer than driving a car or motorcycle. It is true, and perhaps because driving is such an integral part of everyone’s lives, we sometimes take the risks for granted. We feel our driving skills are second nature and assume we will get where we are going unscathed. Because of that confidence, some will drive distracted, either because of alcohol, drugs, or cell phone use, not thinking that their skill level is impaired by these distractions. The United States Department of Transportation reports that in 2014, 431,00 people were injured in automobile and motorcycle accidents and 3,179 people killed in crashes that involved distracted drivers.
Even though the statistics prove how dangerous is it to drive distractedly, accidents are still happening at an alarming rate. When a result of someone’s conduct causes someone’s death, be it an automobile defect, an accident or possibly intentional, the loved ones of the deceased may be able to receive monetary damages for a wrongful death claim. An attorney has experience dealing with wrongful death cases and can meet with you to discuss your case specifically.
Automobile accidents are not uncommon and the majority of accidents thankfully do not involve a fatality. However, accidents can occur the second your attention is taken away from the road and the consequences can oft times be tragic. There are several factors that can contribute to fatal automobile accidents These include:
- Inclimate weather conditions where road is wet, icy, slippery or snow covered or heavy rain, snow or fog impair vision
- Defects in the road such as potholes or deteriorating road shoulders
- Drivers with little experience on the road and/or elderly drivers
- Driving while texting or using cell phones (also called distracted driving)
- Driving while over tired
- Automobile manufacturing defects (inoperable brakes, power steering, etc)
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs (both prescription or otherwise)
- Reckless driving, including excessive speed, illegally passing, racing, etc)
Determinants of a Wrongful Death Suit
Your attorney will educate you as to your state’s specific wrongful death statutes. There are, however, several elements common to every state. Typically, a family that has lost someone must prove the following to be successful in pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit
- The accident that killed your loved one was caused by another driver
- The driver responsible was at fault by acting in a wrongful or negligent manner thus causing the accident
- The family member who was killed has a spouse, child or children or other dependents or beneficiaries
- Because of the death, there are monetary and non-monetary damages.
Usually an immediate family member of the deceased is required to file a wrongful death claim. It is important to seek the assistance of an experienced wrongful death attorney Dekalb County, GA trusts to help you through the process. They can discuss your loss with you and determine the best avenue to pursue in your devastating situation.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at Andrew R. Lynch, P.C. for their insight into wrongful death cases.