Car accidents have become very common. While most accidents are relatively minor, such as fender bender, few result in serious scenarios, i.e. fatalities. According to reports, the US alone reports 38,000 deaths every year due to road accidents. When fatalities result from a car accident, its consequences are far more severe.
In this article, we will find out what happens when someone is involved in a fatal car wreck.
What Happens If You Accidently Kill Someone?
Most car accidents occur because either of the drivers acted recklessly or carelessly. If that accident leads to the death of someone else, the opposing driver may face criminal charges on the grounds of vehicular manslaughter.
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It must be noted that not every car accident that leads to fatalities will leave the at-fault driver with criminal accountability. It will depend on the local district attorney to assess the case and the exact situation and decide if the driver was guilty of causing the demise.
Typically, district attorneys consider the following things:
- Whether the accident took place when the driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs: In most places, driving while drunk or high is illegal. A fatal drunk driving case can lead to criminal charges against the offender.
- Whether the driver was reckless and ignored the traffic rules: It is the legal duty of every person to obey traffic rules to ensure the safety of everyone. Violating these rules in any way may lead to criminal prosecution.
- Whether the factors that caused the accidents were out of the driver’s control: The district attorney is very less likely to announce criminal liability against the driver if the car accident took place due to unpredictable mechanical failure, poor road conditions, or an Act of God.
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Car Accidents and Wrongful Death Claims
Sometimes, in fatal car wreck cases, the opposing party is not charged with any criminal liability. In such cases, the living family or beneficiaries of the victim have the option to file a wrongful death claim through civil court.
Through this case, the beneficiaries of the victim may get suitable compensation for the following:
- Funeral and burial expenses of the victim
- Medical expenses from the departed person’s injuries
- Lost wages or any benefits that the departed may have earned
- Pain and suffering before the death (if the death was not immediate)
- Loss of guidance or companionship for the survivors
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It is important to note that a wrongful death claim should be made within three years of the death of the victim.
Hiring an Experienced Attorney is a Must
Families who lose their beloved in a car accident face extreme trauma and sudden emotional burdens. They need the expertise and legal guidance of a professional to help them make informed decisions and seek justice.
It is important to get in touch with a good wrongful death attorney who has sufficient experience and resources in dealing with such cases. He will make sure you get the rightful compensation and justice for your loved one.