Car Accidents That Cause Wrongful Death
Car accidents can cause a wide range of injuries, the most devastating of which can prove fatal. When someone is killed in a collision caused by another person or party, the law defines that as wrongful death. If family members lose a loved one to a car accident resulting in wrongful death, they should consider taking legal action.
A wrongful death claim allows loved ones to hold liable parties accountable for the economic and non-economic hardships associated with the loss of life. Wrongful death lawyer Lynn C. Harris works with individuals in Salt Lake City, Provo, UT, and surrounding areas to pursue compensation for the full range of wrongful death damages.
Common Causes of Car Accident Fatalities
Driving is an inherently risky activity. If even one person is negligent in the care or control of their vehicle, an accident can occur. All accidents have the potential to turn deadly, but fatalities are most likely when collisions take place at high speeds, when a vehicle is struck head-on, or when a vehicle flips.
Just as with non-fatal car accidents, there are many potential causes of accidents that result in fatalities, including:
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Driving while fatigued
- Reckless driving (speeding, running a traffic light/signal, making an unsafe lane change, etc.)
- Poor weather and/or road conditions
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
In the state of Utah, a wrongful death claim can be filed by a personal representative of the deceased’s estate, or by an heir of the deceased. Heirs who are permitted to file a wrongful death claim include:
- The surviving spouse
- Surviving children over the age of 18 (including adopted children)
- Surviving parents
- Other blood relatives (if there are no other heirs)
Do I Have Grounds for a Wrongful Death Claim?
When determining if our Salt Lake City clients have grounds to file a wrongful death claim after a car accident, our lawyers must establish the following factors:
- A car accident resulted in the death of a family member
- Another driver or party acted recklessly or negligently, or was otherwise at-fault for the car accident
- The deceased is survived by a spouse, children, or other financially dependent heirs
- The loved one’s death resulted in monetary and/or non-monetary losses
Wrongful Death Damages
When filing a wrongful death lawsuit, the plaintiff has the right to pursue compensation on behalf of the deceased’s estate (to account for damages suffered by the deceased prior to their death), as well as compensation for their own personal losses.
Depending on the details of each case, wrongful death damages may include compensation for:
- Medical expenses prior to death
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Pain and suffering (for the deceased as well as the deceased’s heirs)
- Loss of consortium (care, love, companionship, etc.)
- Loss of earning potential (including all wages, bonuses, benefits, etc. that would have been earned by the deceased had they lived)
Contact a Wrongful Death Lawyer
The death of a loved one can have devastating emotional and financial consequences. If you have lost a loved one to a wrongful death involving a car accident, attorney Lynn C. Harris would like to help you explore your right to financial compensation. To discuss the details of your case, contact our law firm online, or call (801) 521-3200 to schedule a consultation.