Is a fatal car crash grounds for a wrongful death claim?

On Behalf of | Sep 28, 2022 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

In Massachusetts, as elsewhere in the United States, motor vehicle collisions are a leading source of injury and death for people of all ages. No one expects a car crash to occur despite their statistical prevalence, and families never anticipate having a loved one leave for the grocery store or work in the morning and to never come home again.

Sadly, such unpredictable losses are the reality for thousands of American families every year. It is natural to want justice after such a tragic incident, and a car insurance claim may fall far short of meeting your family’s needs after a crash. Sometimes, there may not be any insurance coverage available from the at-fault driver at all.

When someone you love dies in a collision obviously caused by another person, will your family have the right to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit?

The crash must meet certain standards

Wrongful death claims are only an option when the behavior of another party is directly to blame for someone’s death. For you to secure compensation for a recent family tragedy, you will first need to show the courts that the crash that claimed your loved one’s life was the result of negligence or misconduct.

Someone driving while drunk or traveling at speeds well over the posted limit may open themselves up to civil liability if they cause a crash. Provided that the other party did something obviously unsafe or illegal, you can bring a lawsuit against an individual driver. Wrongful death claims could also target businesses that employ unsafe drivers or that produce faulty products which cause car crashes.

There must be losses to recover

Whether you want to seek the financial value of a stay-at-home parent’s childcare services or you have thousands of dollars in hospital bills, you generally need some provable financial impact to have grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit.

Family members still grieving a recent tragedy may not have the clarity or focus necessary to pursue a complicated legal claim against an individual or business. Wrongful death claims frequently required the support of attorneys, especially if the claim is against a business rather than an individual. Getting the right support can facilitate a smoother wrongful death claim for your family during what is undoubtedly a very difficult time.