While death is never an easy situation to embrace, a death brought about by natural causes is often easier to accept as something that is meant to be. However, when a loved one is yanked from your life as a result of the actions of another driver, the situation is nothing less than a tragedy. If you have found yourself facing this challenge, you may have a legal right to file a wrongful death claim.
When it comes to a wrongful death claim, the most important thing to establish is who is the responsible party. Unfortunately, there isn't always a clear-cut answer. However, for an individual to be considered liable, they generally have to be solely responsible for the death of the victim. Take a fatal motor vehicle accident caused by an impaired driver, where the victim was not wearing a seat-belt, for example.
It's obvious that the impairment of the driver showed negligence and was the cause of the accident. However, the fact that the victim wasn't wearing a seat-belt is also a significant factor. The insurance company or attorney representing the impaired driver could argue that had the victim been wearing a seat-belt, maybe their injuries would not have been fatal. As hard as it is to embrace, given this scenario the impaired driver and the victim could both be legally considered negligent, resulting in the dismissal of a wrongful death case.
The second factor to consider are the financial implications the passing of your loved one has caused you. The laws vary from state to state in terms of determining who is able to file a suit, such as a spouse or parent; however, the law is clear that the individual filing the suit had to solely, or in part, be financially dependent on the deceased individual. For example, simply being the child of the deceased doesn't prove financial dependency.
Did you live with your parent? Did your parent pay all, or most of, your bills? Answering yes to these questions often indicates some level of dependency. However, no responses generally mean that you did not rely on your loved one financially and therefore are unable to file a suit on their behalf. It's important to understand that the court won't just take your word. You will be required to provide documentation to prove this dependency.
When it comes to determining whether or not you are able to file a wrongful death suit, an attorney will be your most valuable asset. A wrongful death attorney can examine the facts of your claim to help put you on the path to justice.
How much do you think someone should pay if they pummel your car and accidentally kill your entire family? What if they were drunk? What if you had to miss three months of work? Although you might understand that a wreck like that could level you financially, your insurance company might see things another way. Instead of paying you what is rightfully yours, they might try to pay for your car to be repaired and take care of half salary for a few weeks. However, working with a lawyer can ensure that you get what you deserve in court. This blog is all about how personal injury lawyers can help. Check it out.