Posted by Gurjit Srai In Accident June 23, 2023 0 Comment

Car accident victims who suffer losses and injuries in a crash can typically recover damages from the at fault party who caused the accident. When someone dies in a motor vehicle crash as a result of another party’s negligent behavior, the deceased victim’s loved ones can file a lawsuit for wrongful death. They may claim compensation for the expenses and damages they incurred as a result of their family member’s death.

Requirements for Proving Wrongful Death in a Car Accident Case

Wrongful death claims are like other negligence claims. You will have to show the same elements:

  • Duty. You will have to prove that the other negligent party owed a duty of care. This is generally a straightforward element in a car accident claim because every motorist on public roadways must act in a reasonably safe manner.
  • Breach. You must next prove that the other party breached the duty they owed. Examples of such breaches in a car crash include speeding, driving while intoxicated, running a red light, or using a cell phone.
  • Causation. Next you will need to prove that the breached duty was the direct and proximate cause of the injuries you suffered in the collision.
  • Damages. The death of your loved one satisfies this element. A medical examiner’s certificate can suffice as proof of the cause of death.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Car Accident Claim?

An experienced Stockton wrongful death attorney will consider all parties who could potential liability bring a wrongful death claim. Typically, the following parties may file a wrongful death claim after losing their loved one in a car accident:

  • Surviving spouse
  • Surviving child or children
  • Dependent minors living in the household
  • Parents
  • Heir
  • Next of kin
  • Personal representative of the deceased’s estate

If you believe you lost a loved one in a car crash because of another party’s negligence, you should consult a Stockton car accident attorney as soon as possible. In most cases, you will only have two years from the victim’s death or date of crash to file a claim. If you fail to file your claim within the stipulated period, you may be forever barred to pursue monetary damages against the negligent party.

Damages Available in a Wrongful Death Claim

You may be entitled to generally two types of claims as part of your wrongful death claim: economic and non-economic losses.

Economic damages include:

  • Funeral and burial expenses related to the death
  • Medical bills associated with the initial incident and any care that occurred before the death
  • The loss of the deceased’s expected lifetime earnings
  • Loss of benefits the deceased would have provided, such as medical coverage or pension plans
  • The loss of inheritance caused by the death
  • A fair value of goods and services the deceased would have provided the household

Non-economic damages include:

  • The pain and suffering are mental anguish of the survivors
  • The loss of companionship, society, and love the deceased would have provided
  • The loss of care, protection, training, nurturing, and guidance the deceased can no longer provide for their family
  • The loss of consortium for a deceased spouse or partner

Consult with a Stockton Personal Injury Attorney

If you have lost a loved one in an accident that was caused by the negligent or reckless act of a third party, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. For more information or to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Stockton personal injury attorney, call the Srai Law Offices today at (209) 323-5558.