What Happens When Someone Dies in a Car Accident: How Wrongful Death Cases Work

Someone Dies in a Car Accident - How Wrongful Death Cases WorkLearning that your loved one died in a tragic car accident is unexpected and heartbreaking news. When the reality of your loss begins to set in, you may experience intense grief and anxiety. If your loved one contributed financially to household expenses, the loss of income can pose a severe threat to your finances.

A South Carolina wrongful death attorney can help you pursue compensation if another driver was responsible for the deadly crash.

Types of Negligence in Deadly Car Accidents

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), fatal car accidents are on the rise. Unfortunately, many drivers take risks behind the wheel, thinking a tragic accident will never happen to them.

Dangerous drivers travel alongside other road users, engaging in such reckless behavior as:

  • Driving distracted: The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) lists visual, manual, and cognitive as the three primary forms of distraction. Therefore, any activity that removes a driver’s eyes from the road, hands from the wheel, and mind from driving can result in a deadly crash.
  • Drunk driving: Despite the known risks of driving impaired, South Carolina Department of Public Safety (SCDPS) indicates that one person dies every 30.8 hours in an alcohol-related accident.
  • Aggressive driving: Impatience, frustration, and anger can lead to speeding and other forms of aggressive driving. Some driver behavior escalates into road rage, sometimes with deadly results. Road rage involves such actions as throwing objects or purposely running someone off the road.
  • Sleep-deprived driving: Drowsy drivers who nod off behind the wheel place others at risk of severe injuries and death. Insomnia, an undiagnosed sleep disorder, or another factor can cause a driver to drift to sleep and into your lane.

You can’t predict the actions of another driver. No matter how defensively your loved one drove, their death was likely preventable. When a driver chooses to engage in reckless behavior that results in a fatality, they should face accountability.

Pursuing compensation can never replace your loved one. However, legal action can serve as a possible form of justice on behalf of the one you loved and lost. Consider placing your case in the hands of an experienced South Carolina wrongful death attorney as soon as possible.

Delayed Death

Some accident victims may survive an accident, only to succumb to injuries days, weeks, or months later.

The days, weeks, and months that follow your loved one’s death can leave you in a cloud of grief.

Dealing with daily tasks and making funeral arrangements are just two responsibilities that contribute to your confusion. The overwhelming stress in your life can easily cause you to lose track of time.

Failure to file a wrongful death lawsuit within the required statute of limitations can severely impact your case. It is generally impossible to pursue compensation once the deadline passes. A wrongful death lawyer can work with you to help ensure that you do not miss this critical opportunity.

Essential Steps Following Your Loved One’s Fatal Car Accident

If you lost a close loved one due to a fatal car accident caused by negligence, your next steps are crucial for your case:

  1. Gather evidence: Keep and collect any evidence related to your loved one’s accident. This may include information such as witness phone numbers, crash scene photos, and police reports.
  2. Beware of aggressive insurance adjusters: If an insurance adjuster pressures you to accept a settlement, do not accept it. The terms of accepting a settlement are complex and confusing.
  3. Contact a wrongful death attorney: A free case evaluation can help you learn more about your legal options. If you have a compensation case, your lawyer can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. If negotiations for a fair settlement fail, your attorney may take your case to trial.

The untimely death of a loved one turns your world upside down. Placing your case in the hands of a South Carolina wrongful death lawyer can give you the peace of mind you need to get through this difficult time.

Common Types of Compensation in Wrongful Death Cases

Fatal accidents differ in detail and liability. Each deadly car accident case is unique to the cause and the number of liable parties. Your lawyer cannot promise nor guarantee compensation; however, they can fight for the best outcome possible.

Wrongful death cases typically involve:

  • Medical costs: expenses relating to life-saving attempts for your loved one.
  • Funeral, burial, or memorial services: expenses relating to remembering your loved one with friends and family.
  • Lost wages: income lost due to your loved one’s death.
  • Potential future earnings: the income possible, had your loved one survived.
  • Lost inheritance: possible inheritance for any children left behind.
  • Non-economic damages: losses like the companionship your loved one provided.

Your wrongful death lawyer can determine if you qualify for pursuing compensation for these and other types of damages. Executors or administrators of the victim’s estate are generally those who may file a wrongful death claim. However, if there is no executor or administrator, the court may appoint one.

The typical line of succession for any settlement or award for damages is:

  • Surviving spouse and children
  • Parents if there is no surviving spouse or children
  • If none of the above are possible, compensation goes to the victim’s heirs

Wrongful death cases are highly emotional for those mourning the loss of their loved one. Understanding your rights under South Carolina law is essential and a lawyer can help you.

A wrongful death attorney can get to work for you soon, but you must reach out for a free case consultation without delay.

How a Wrongful Death Attorney Can Help

Investigating your loved one’s deadly accident and identifying all liable parties are two examples of how an attorney can help you. Phone calls, paperwork, and reviewing accident scene photos are other time-consuming yet necessary tasks.

No one wants to continuously relive the details about their loved one’s tragic last moments. Wrongful death attorneys understand how difficult this time is for their clients. It is why they treat those they represent with the utmost respect and compassion.

You may feel tempted to negotiate with an insurance adjuster alone, have them contact your attorney instead.

Insurance companies want to protect their best interests. As a result, the amount offered in initial settlements is typically far less than what accident victims deserve. In addition, the desire to protect profits can lead insurance adjusters to pressure victims into signing before they contact a lawyer.

Insurance companies use a variety of tactics to convince victims’ families to accept a low settlement. While accepting a settlement may seem like a quick fix to your situation, it is often a choice many come to regret.

If you lost a close loved one due to a fatal South Carolina car accident involving negligence, a lawyer can help you.

Tragedy on South Carolina Roadways

All drivers must share South Carolina roadways with other road users. Obeying speed limits and traffic laws is essential for everyone to reach their destination safely.

Far too often, drivers forget that their license is, in fact, a privilege and not a right. According to data from the SCDPS, one person dies on a South Carolina road every 8.7 hours. For accidents involving negligence, pursuing compensation may prevent the driver from repeating the dangerous behavior that killed your loved one.

Fatal Car Accidents and Life Changes

The full impact of your loss is impossible to know immediately. The thought of a future without your loved one can seem impossible as you navigate your way through immense grief.

If your loved one contributed to household expenses, in addition to the general grief you may feel, the loss can cause financial stress. Caring  for your children and planning for your future needs can leave you feeling anxious.

Paying for your basic needs after a sudden and most likely preventable accident is sometimes difficult. However, this difficulty is unfair, and your loss demands justice.

A wrongful death attorney familiar with South Carolina law can help guide you through this challenging time. Your attorney understands how to negotiate with insurance companies firmly and how to present at trial.

An attorney can also work hard to build the most robust case possible for compensation. Their knowledge of wrongful death law is invaluable when it comes to securing the best outcome possible for your case.

A fatal car accident is tragic enough.  Do not attempt to seek justice or handle your case alone doing so will likely add to your stress. Instead, contact a South Carolina wrongful death attorney now for help.

Your South Carolina Wrongful Death Attorney

Fatal car accidents are all too common as drivers take risks behind the wheel. Unfortunately, these types of behaviors continue despite known dangers associated with drunk, distracted, and drowsy driving, along with publicized cases of road rage.

If you lost a close loved one due to a reckless driver, you may want to hire a lawyer as soon as possible. Once you secure a lawyer, you can refer aggressive insurance adjusters to your lawyer, freeing you from their calls.

It is difficult to process the news of a tragic death and make important decisions in the days, weeks, and months following an accident. How to proceed with legal action is where a wrongful death attorney can help you.

Someone who can take the steps in a wrongful death claim and a lawsuit on your behalf can ease your mind. In addition, the knowledge that someone is at work protecting your best interests allows you to breathe easier during this incredibly heartbreaking time.

There is no quick solution to your situation. Pursuing compensation takes time. However, your lawyer can provide you with updates and keep you informed regarding your case.

What happens when a loved one dies in a car accident caused by negligence is that life, as you know it, comes to a stop. The long-lasting impact on your life is unfair when driven by someone else’s quick yet careless actions.

Hiring a lawyer for help with your case as soon as possible is vital to your case. If your loved one left for work, school, or a trip to the store, to never return home again, consider hiring a wrongful death attorney today.

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