Determining Who May File a Wrongful Death Case
Next, you must know if you can file a wrongful death claim. If you are a surviving family member of the victim, you may be able to recover compensation. Under New York law, family members who may be eligible for compensation include spouses, children, parents, siblings, nieces, or nephews.
Several people may receive compensation for the death of their family member. A lawyer can handle all the technicalities for you.
There are complicated legal jargon and laws surrounding a wrongful death claim that you may not understand, but an experienced wrongful death attorney can help you through these obstacles.
Determining Who to Pursue in Your Wrongful Death Car Accident Case
You may know exactly who caused the accident that took your loved one’s life, but you must apply the legal negligence standard to your case.
There are four elements of negligence:
- Duty of care – The other party should have prioritized your loved one’s safety on the road.
- Breach of duty – They fell short of keeping their duty of care
- Causation – This negligence led to the collision and your loved one’s fatal injuries.
- Damages – You and your family have suffered measurable damages due to the accident and your loved one’s death.
After pinpointing each element in your case, we must show evidence to support your claims.
Typical forms of evidence in wrongful death car accident cases may include:
- Photographs of the collision
- Surveillance camera footage that captured the collision in motion
- Your loved one’s medical records (e.g., hospital bills and the autopsy report)
- Eyewitness statements that detail their version of how the crash happened
- The police report, which should document any injuries or fatalities at the scene
- Traffic citations if the other party broke a traffic law, potentially causing the collision
If you have any additional information that might help your case, alert your attorney. It doesn’t matter how minuscule it seems—this evidence could make all the difference in the strength of your case.
Damages in a Long Island Wrongful Death Claim for Fatal Injuries
You may claim wide and varied compensation. Each case is different, just as each crash is different, and everyone’s situation is unique. Plaintiffs pursue compensation to help them cover their expenses and losses after a severe collision. However, it’s not as simple as just handing over bills and receipts. There may be much more to your case that can make it both complex and time-consuming.
The compensation that you receive in a claim for a fatal crash may include:
- Hospital bills
- Ambulance bill
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of income
- Loss of future income
- Loss of support and parental guidance
- Pain and suffering
Having a loved one killed in a car crash can change your life forever in the blink of an eye. Your children may be affected as well, sometimes even worse than you. Filing a wrongful death claim for compensation will not bring your loved one back, but it can help you cope, grieve, and give you financial support. You do not have to go through this alone—speak with a team member at Rosenberg & Gluck, LLP today to schedule your free consultation.
Common Causes of Fatal Car Accidents
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 35,766 fatal crashes and 38,824 deaths nationwide occurred in one recent year alone.
Many of these collisions likely stemmed from:
- Drunk or impaired driving – If a driver’s blood alcohol content is above 0.08 when they’re behind the wheel, New York law considers them to be driving under the influence, which is illegal. Driving impaired compromises judgment, vision, and reaction time. So, a driver may not see another car or realize they have to stop before it’s too late.
- Distracted driving – Every year, approximately 3,000 people die from distracted driving car collisions. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that anything that takes a driver’s focus off the road—visually, manually, or cognitively—constitutes distracted driving. The most common form of distracted driving is texting while driving. Other forms include eating while driving or talking on the phone while driving.
- Speeding and aggressive driving – When a driver speeds, they’re more likely to lose control of the car, need more distance to stop, and increase the likelihood of a crash. The NHTSA reports that over 11,200 people lost their lives to accidents involving a speeding driver in 2020.
- Disregarding traffic signs – Failure to yield the right of way and ignoring stop signs and traffic signals can lead to rear-end and side-impact crashes.
- Fatigued driving – Driving before sunrise is prime time for drowsy driving collisions. According to the NHTSA, there were more than 90,000 police reports for fatigued driving in 2017. More than 50,000 people suffered injuries, and 800 died that same year. Drivers must get enough sleep before heading out. Otherwise, they may need to pull over, drink strong coffee, and/or take a quick nap.
Driver error isn’t the only reason for fatal car crashes. Other factors contributing to a collision include inclement weather, poor road conditions, faulty street signs and signals, and vehicle part malfunctions.
After reviewing your case and determining the cause of the crash, your lawyer can identify the liable party and pursue them for compensation. Sometimes, more than one party can share fault for a collision.
Contact Rosenberg & Gluck, L.L.P for Legal Representation After a Fatal Car Crash
Take the time to grieve if your loved one suddenly passed in a fatal car collision. However, this vulnerable time can put you in a position where you make rash decisions. You don’t want to jeopardize your wrongful death claim and the compensation you and your family desperately need and deserve.
Rosenberg & Gluck, LLP is here for you. Reach out to our personal injury law firm on Long Island to secure your legal rights to compensation after someone else’s negligence killed your loved one. We will provide you with support and guidance every step of the way.
To learn more, contact us today at (631) 451-7900 for your free consultation. Remember, you won’t pay any fees unless we obtain a financial award for you. We assist Spanish-speaking clients, too.