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Claiming Compensation for Wrongful Death in a Car Accident

Joseph Franks
Claiming Compensation for Wrongful Death in a Car Accident

Losing a loved one to a car accident is one of the most devastating things a person may experience in a lifetime. The untimely death of a family member is tragic and upsetting, especially if they were not the one at fault. Death is always painful, but it is easier to deal with when you are prepared, as with a known terminal illness or old age. People belonging to all age groups are killed in deadly auto accidents every day. It's heartbreaking when someone's carelessness or bad choice leads to the wrongful death of an innocent being.

Many people are affected by the death of one person. Someone may have lost their spouse/partner, a child may have lost his/her parent or guardian, and/or a parent may have lost a child. One person is connected to so many different relationships, and thus has certain responsibilities towards each of them. The victim in wrongful death cases cannot fend for themselves and seek compensation, which is why their family or dependents are the ones eligible to file a personal injury claim.

Do I qualify for initiating a wrongful death claim?

The survivors of the deceased in a wrongful death case are referred to as 'real parties in interest'. The definition of "real parties in interest" may differ by state, which is why it is essential to consult a personal injury firm in your area or neighborhood. Immediate family members are accepted as survivors in all states. Immediate family includes a registered spouse and biological/legally adopted children; it would be the parents if the individual was unmarried. It is important to note that biological and legally adopted children have identical rights.

Sometimes, the deceased's parents are no longer living and they have no registered partner or child either. A couple of states allow unmarried partners to file a claim, particularly if they are the biological parent of the deceased's offspring. A putative spouse, as well as a minor foster child can also claim compensation, given that they relied on the deceased’s income for basic needs. Even though they were not related by blood, legal guardianship automatically entitles the children a portion of the decedent’s estate.

Some jurisdictions may include distant relatives such as siblings and grandparents if the deceased had no partner or children in and outside of marriage. If the mentioned relatives were raising the victim or dependent on their earnings, they may file a wrongful death claim. Personal Injury Attorney in Utah & Nevada can help you establish eligibility and attain reimbursement for your loss.

Who is liable for Wrongful Death in a Car Accident?

Wrongful death claims are difficult to resolve, especially when several parties are involved. Demonstrating 'probable cause' to implicate the defendant or placing the burden of proof on a single entity can be challenging in particular stances. If your loved one got into an accident while travelling in a rideshare car, you may blame one or more of the following parties:

  • Any of the drivers involved, including the one you’re driving with
  • The ridesharing company who is responsible for its employees or contractors
  • The automobile manufacturer, assembler, and/or supplier
  • The local government agency in charge for road upkeep

In essence, a variety of factors and circumstances may have played a role in the car accident. Sometimes evidence may indicate that the deceased was primarily or partially at fault. For instance, a moment of distraction is all it takes to cause a roadside tragedy. Even so, your loss is apparent, and a skilled personal injury lawyer can help you reach a reasonable settlement with the defendant.

Joseph Franks
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