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Approximately four people suffer fatal injuries in car accidents every hour across the nation. Each of their deaths leave behind grieving relatives, including some who may have relied on the victim for everything from companionship to financial wellbeing. In fact, certain survivors of deceased car accident victims may be entitled to file wrongful death lawsuits, usually with the help of a personal injury attorney. Winning a wrongful death suit helps them receive financial compensation for their loss by holding the at-fault party liable for the fatality.
A wrongful death lawsuit may sound confusing, but it can be easily explained as akin to a personal injury lawsuit. When a victim becomes injured during a car accident, the victim may file a personal injury claim against the negligent or at-fault driver. In a wrongful death lawsuit, the victim either died immediately or soon after the collision as a result of injuries. The victim’s close relatives can file for damages.
Every fatal car accident has unique characteristics. Nevertheless, many wrongful death lawsuits point to common causes that led to a victim’s death, including driver distraction, driving while under the influence, driver fatigue, aggressive driving, driving against the rules of the road, and even vehicle defects. Some contributors to highway fatalities, such as a faulty or defective vehicle part, can lead victims to pursue compensation from more than one at-fault party. For instance, if a vehicle’s airbag does not properly deploy, the airbag manufacturer may be held liable, as well as the driver of the vehicle that ran into the victim.
Survivors who pursue wrongful death claims by filing a lawsuit may ask for compensation for a variety of reasons. These can include pain and suffering, cost for medical treatment, funeral costs, burial fees, loss of household income, loss of inheritance, loss of consortium, and even loss of nurturing. A knowledgeable attorney can help clients understand which damages to consider based on the situation and their relationship to the deceased.
In Delaware, wrongful death lawsuits are limited to immediate family members. For instance, a spouse, children, or parents can usually file for wrongful death. However, anyone who feels they have a claim in a wrongful death lawsuit may contact a lawyer to find out if their status qualifies them to formally pursue this type of case.
If the deceased victim of a car accident in Delaware was up to 50 percent at fault, their survivors can still file a wrongful death claim. Delaware follows the rule of modified comparative fault, which means if the victim did not bear more than half the burden of negligence or at-fault behavior, the victim’s survivors may be entitled to compensation. The survivors must meet the burden of proof that the at-fault party was indeed negligent. Lawyers skilled in filing wrongful death lawsuits will make sure that all aspects of the crash have been noted and considered to obtain the maximum damages.
If your loved one suffered fatal injuries in a car accident, contact a Wilmington wrongful death lawyer at Rhoades & Morrow today. We will review your case and obtain the compensation you deserve. For a free consultation, call us at 302-427-9500 or contact us online. Located in Wilmington, Milford, and Bear, Delaware, we serve clients throughout the state, including the areas of Elsmere and Seaford.