Wrongful Death Caused by a Car Accident
- October 13, 2014
- Wrongful Death
The purpose of a wrongful death statute is, for the most part, to compensate the family members of a decedent when the death was caused by the negligence of another person or entity. In some cases, like with a murder or an intoxicated driver, these claims might be connected with a crime, but a criminal offense is not necessary for a successful wrongful death claim. Rather than the need to prove any form of criminal wrongdoing, the claimant needs to show that the death was the fault of the defendant through some form of negligence or intent.
More than 30,000 fatal crashes occur every year in the United States, which has helped to make motor vehicle accidents one of the most common causes of wrongful death lawsuits. These accidents not only take the lives of our fellow citizens, but they also leave their family members grieving and, in many cases, in a state of financial distress. With car accident fatalities being such a common occurrence, a Dallas wrongful death attorney is likely to handle hundreds of these cases over the course of their career.
With a wrongful death caused by a car accident, many of the elements to the case will be similar to an injury claim that stems from a car accident. The lawyer will need to demonstrate the negligence of the offending driver in much the same way. With this being the case, the wrongful death lawyer will use a lot of the same types of evidence like witness statements, police reports and accident reconstruction.
One of the differences comes in what you are trying to prove the results of defendant’s negligence were. With an injury claim, you are trying to prove that you were injured and that the negligence of the defendant caused the injury. With a wrongful death claim, you are trying to prove that an individual died and that the death was caused by the negligence of the defending driver. This is somewhat similar, but there are some differences to how a lawyer will achieve this.
Another factor that makes these cases different is proving that you are the individual that is entitled to the compensation. With an injury claim, if you demonstrate that you were injured and that the injuries were caused by the negligence of the defendant, it somewhat straightforward. Clearly, you are the individual that deserves compensation. In a wrongful death claim, the claimant also needs to prove that they are a legal beneficiary of the decedent. This is usually achieved with legal documentation like birth certificates, a wedding license or the will of the individual that was killed.
As you can see, wrongful death claims that are the result of a car accident will have many similarities to injury claims that result from a car accident. There are some differences concerning what you are trying to prove in regard to the damages and the relationship that existed between the deceased and the claimant, but many of the same legal theories will come into play. If you have a wrongful death claim, from a car accident or otherwise, the car accident attorneys at Guajardo & Marks have the experience and know how to build your case and to get you the full level of compensation that you deserve.