When Does a Fatal Car Accident Warrant a Wrongful Death Claim?
Losing a loved one is a traumatic experience, no matter how the event occurs. In the case of a fatal car accident, surviving family members and friends may get closure by pursuing a wrongful death claim.
However, loss of life in an auto accident isn’t always considered to be wrongful death. An experienced accident lawyer can determine if filing a lawsuit is warranted and, if so, provide you with the legal guidance you need. Below, you’ll find key information on the laws surrounding fatal auto accidents.
What Qualifies as Wrongful Death in a Fatal Car Accident
Wrongful death is defined as a sudden, unexpected loss of life due to the negligence of another party.
All motorists are expected to obey traffic safety laws, and drivers owe a duty of care to everyone else out on the road. Anyone who demonstrates negligent behavior can be held liable in court, and filing a lawsuit may be an option for car accident fatalities caused by any of the following:
- Distracted driving
- Drunk driving
- Failing to yield
- Running a red light
- Driving without a valid license
Elements Required in a Fatal Car Accident Claim
Filing deadlines and requirements for wrongful death claims vary from state to state, but the laws share similarities. In order to bring a successful claim, you’ll need to be able to prove that:
- The fatal auto accident occurred
- The at-fault driver acted negligently
- The loss of your loved one resulted in emotional, physical or financial damages
In Utah, surviving family members – such as a spouse, parent or child – have the legal right to file a lawsuit. A personal representative of the estate can also sue the at-fault driver on behalf of the deceased individual and their loved ones.
Benefits of Hiring a Utah Wrongful Death Attorney
If you lost a loved one in a fatal car accident, filing a lawsuit won’t bring them back. But, taking legal action can ease your financial burdens and allow you to hold the at-fault driver accountable for their negligence.
While you don’t have to have a lawyer assist with your claim, doing so is a smart plan. Attorneys who specialize in these types of lawsuits understand the legal processes involved, and they have the expertise to build a strong case. In addition, an attorney will know how to value your claim, ensuring that you obtain fair compensation for your losses.
The legal team at Symkoviak Law Firm has successfully resolved hundreds of personal injury claims and accidental death lawsuits. We’re here to provide the support and help you need, and you can count on us to fight for the best possible case outcome. For more information, or to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Utah wrongful death attorney, contact our office in Salt Lake City today.