If the unfortunate situation arises where a loved one of yours passes away as a result of injuries sustained in a car accident, then you have the option of suing the other party on behalf of the deceased. In fact, this situation occurs more often than you might think. Typically, explains Wendy Ghee, a personal injury lawyer in Anniston, AL a person’s children, spouse, or parents are the people who can make a claim on behalf of the individual who has passed away.
Instead of trying to handle this type of lawsuit on your own amidst all of your other responsibilities and trying to make sense of everything that has happened, the best thing you can do for yourself is to hire legal representation. In particular, you should hire a personal injury lawyer in your area who has experience filing lawsuits of this degree.
During your first consultation, The Ghee & Draper Law Firm says, bringing documents with you is not really necessary, because you lawyer may request different documents depending on the circumstances. In this type of personal injury case, what is always necessary, she explains, is to prove standing, or legal loss. Obviously, The Ghee & Draper Law Firm continues, a child who loses a parent has standing, as does a husband who loses his wife. Often times, there are multiple people who can make a claim in a single personal injury case. Depending on the situation, everyone who is filing a lawsuit on behalf of the deceased can work with the same lawyer, while other times, when there are conflicts of interest present, more than one lawyer is required.
Preparing for a personal injury case of this nature varies, because as The Ghee & Draper Law Firm explains, every case has its own heartbeat. You cannot predict how a case will unfold without first gathering all of the necessary details, she continues. Many times, multiple lawsuits are being filed at once, somewhat complicating things. For instance, The Ghee & Draper Law Firm explains, if a husband and wife were involved in a roll-over car accident in which the father was driving and lived but the mother passed away, the father has a claim for the loss of his spouse, but the children potentially have a claim against the father if there was any fault involved. They also all have a claim against the other driver.
In addition to proving standing, one must also be able to prove negligence in order to file a successful lawsuit, The Ghee & Draper Law Firm says. In all personal injury cases, you have to prove four elements, he continues, which are duty, breech of that duty, causation, and damages. You and your attorney have to prove that the other party had a duty to protect the person who has died, but breached said duty by causing a fatal car accident. You must then prove that the breach of duty resulted in the damages to you or whoever is filing the personal injury lawsuit, he explains. These damages could be physical, monetary, emotional, consequential, compensatory, or punitive.
When you’re dealing with the family of a deceased person, unfortunately, you can only compensate people with money–you can’t give back life. Still, it’s important that you get what you legally deserve, and finding the right lawyer will at least make that part of the process far less challenging.
This article is for informational purposes only. You should not rely on this article as a legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances, and you should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel. Publication of this article and your receipt of this article does not create an attorney-client relationship.