Losing a loved one is one of the most painful experiences a person can go through, especially if the loss was sudden and unexpected. When a loved one dies in a car accident, the emotional pain can be compounded by legal and financial issues that need to be addressed. In this article, we will discuss what happens when a loved one dies in a car accident and offer some practical insights on how to cope with the aftermath.
- Notify Authorities – If you are at the scene of the accident when it happens, you should immediately call 911 and request emergency services. The police and paramedics will arrive on the scene to assess the situation and provide assistance. If your loved one is pronounced dead at the scene, the police will notify the coroner’s office.
- Contact Family Members – It is important to contact other family members and close friends to let them know what has happened. This can be a difficult task, but it is important to provide support to each other during this difficult time.
- Obtain a Death Certificate – After a loved one has passed away, you will need to obtain a death certificate. The death certificate is an official document that verifies the person’s death and provides details such as the cause of death and the date and time of death. This document is necessary for legal and financial purposes.
- Notify Insurance Company – If your loved one had car insurance, you will need to notify the insurance company of the accident and provide them with the necessary information to file a claim. If your loved one was a passenger in another vehicle, you will need to contact the insurance company of the driver of the other vehicle.
- Plan Funeral Arrangements – Planning a funeral for a loved one can be a difficult task, but it is important to make sure that their wishes are respected. You may want to consult with a funeral director who can help you make arrangements for the service.
- Seek Support – Losing a loved one in a car accident can be a traumatic experience. It is important to seek support from family members, friends, and professional counselors who can help you cope with your grief.
- Contact an Attorney – If your loved one died in a car accident, you may want to consult with an attorney who specializes in wrongful death cases. An attorney can help you understand your legal rights and options, and guide you through the process of filing a wrongful death lawsuit.
Wrongful Death Claims Following A Car Accident
In the event that a loved one dies as a result of a car accident, a wrongful death claim may be filed. But what is a wrongful death claim, what elements of the claim must be proven, and what types of damages may be recovered?
What is a Wrongful Death Claim?
A wrongful death claim is a type of lawsuit that is filed when a person dies as a result of someone else’s negligence or intentional actions. In the context of a car accident, a wrongful death claim may be filed against the driver who caused the accident, the manufacturer of a defective vehicle, or even the owner of the vehicle if they allowed an unfit driver to operate it.
Elements of a Wrongful Death Claim
To file a wrongful death claim, certain elements must be proven. These include:
- Duty of Care – The defendant had a legal duty to exercise reasonable care to avoid causing harm to the victim.
- Breach of Duty – The defendant breached their duty of care by acting in a way that was unreasonable or careless.
- Causation – The defendant’s breach of duty caused the victim’s death.
- Damages – The victim’s death resulted in damages, such as medical expenses, funeral expenses, and loss of income.
Damages in a Wrongful Death Claim
In a wrongful death claim, damages may be recovered for various losses suffered by the victim’s family. These may include:
- Medical expenses incurred prior to the victim’s death
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of income and financial support
- Loss of companionship and emotional support
- Pain and suffering experienced by the victim prior to their death
It is important to note that each state has its own laws regarding wrongful death claims, including the damages that may be recovered and who may file a claim. An experienced wrongful death attorney can help you understand the laws in your state and guide you through the legal process. A wrongful death claim can provide a way for the victim’s family to seek justice and recover damages for their losses. If you have lost a loved one in a car accident, it is important to seek the advice of an experienced attorney who can help you navigate the legal process and protect your legal rights. At Kellum Law Firm, we have over 40 years’ of experience fighting for justice for those left behind following a fatal car accident. Contact our offices today: