Losing a loved one under any given circumstance is tough to deal with. The pain becomes unbearable when the loss is sudden, unexpected and attributable to someone else’s wrongful actions. And one of the leading causes of sudden deaths in the U.S. is car accidents.
When another driver’s negligence leads to your loved one’s death, you may pursue the liable party for the resulting economic and non-economic damages through a car accident claim. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, however, you may file a wrongful death claim as well.
But how do you know when to file a wrongful death claim?
Legally, death is defined as wrongful when it results from another person or entity’s negligent actions. In the context of car accidents, this can imply that the defendant acted in a careless, wrongful or even illegal manner leading to a fatal accident that claimed your loved one’s life.
Here are some of the driver’s actions that can justify a wrongful death lawsuit:
- Operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Driving beyond the stipulated speed limits in a residential or commercial area
- Making illegal turns
- Violating traffic rules like stopping at the red light
- Changing lanes without signaling other motorists
- Knowingly driving a faulty vehicle
Besides a civil lawsuit, some of these actions (like drunk driving) can also lead to criminal lawsuits.
Pursuing justice on behalf of your departed loved one
Every motorist owes the public a duty of care. If a loved one’s life is cut short by another driver’s reckless actions, you need to pursue justice on their behalf. And this is where a wrongful death claim comes in.