Did You Lose a Loved One in a Fatal Auto Accident?
Car accident deaths have been decreasing over the years, due to factors like enhanced car safety features, increased seat belt use, airbags in cars, and more aggressive prosecution of drunk drivers. However, in 2009, over 30,000 people lost their lives in catastrophic automobile accidents. Of these, over 17,000 victims were drivers, and nearly 7,000 victims were passengers. Motorcyclists accounted for nearly 4,500 fatalities, while pedestrians accounted for nearly 4,100 deaths, and bicycle riders made up over 600 of the fatalities.
Litigation for Fatal Car Accidents
Each state has different laws, but legal claims after fatal car accidents have several features in common:
- Police involvement and official records of the accident
- A vehicle operator being found at fault and accident cause identified
- Insurance companies that aggressively try to protect themselves from liability
- Experienced attorneys who work with independent experts to reconstruct the accident and establish the cause of death
Successful Wrongful Death Claims
In general, wrongful death claims require two things to succeed. First, the accident must be caused by someone other than the victim. That may be the driver of the car the deceased person was riding in, or the driver of another car. The other person must have been acting negligently by driving poorly, or else a defective automobile design can be proved. Secondly, there must be enough assets for a recoverable legal claim. Sadly, many car accident deaths that clearly result from negligent driving go uncompensated because there simply is no money or assets with which to compensate the victim’s family. Successful attorneys in wrongful death cases are skilled at finding assets in the form of homeowner’s insurance policies or business policies.
What to Expect After a Fatal Car Accident
In most cases of fatal car accidents, the employer or insurance company representing the party at fault immediately begins a plan to defend the insured or the employee who was at fault. If your loved one was the victim of a fatal car accident, the insurance company representing the party at fault is not interested in compensating you. Immediate investigation by an experienced wrongful death attorney is essential to countering the actions of the other party’s employer or insurance company.
What You Should Do: Contact Kelley/Uustal
Contact a wrongful death attorney as soon as possible after a fatal car crash. This is necessary to create a strong case for compensation for the victim’s family. Our Fort Lauderdale car accident attorneys at Kelley/Uustal provide representation for the victim’s estate and know how to deal with insurance recovery and any lawsuit that may result.