When someone you know and love dies in an accident, your life is immediately turned upside down. There is no way around the emotional punch to the gut you will feel when you lose someone unexpectedly.
Fatal accidents can happen any number of ways, but among the most common are car accidents. It’s estimated that about 35,000 Americans die in fatal car accidents every year, or about one victim every 12 minutes. These accidents can be due to distracted drivers, poor weather conditions or poorly maintained streets and highways. Other causes are defects in the vehicles themselves and elderly or inexperienced drivers.
In a vast majority of these accidents, it is not the drivers fault which further compounds the tragedy. However, when another person is to blame for a fatal accident, whether it involves a car or not, that death opens up the possibility of suingthem under a wrongful death claim.
Although specific laws vary from state to state, what is common among them is that an attorney must be able to prove negligence on the part of the defendant. For example, in a car accident, if a driver is speeding, driving drunk, or weaving in and out of traffic in such a way that it causes a fatal accident, they will be held accountable for their negligent actions. On the surface, proving negligence can seem like a relatively easy task, but that’s not always the case. Wrongful death laws can be complicated, especially when more than one possible party could be at fault.
Add to this that insurance companies will do everything they can to protect their clients, and although the evidence may support a claim, the outcome is in no way guaranteed. Even if fault is established, the equally difficult task remains of trying to reach a dollar figure that is appropriate and just for remaining family members and their loss.
Attorneys deal with this all the time, and that’s why it’s important to retain an experienced litigator as soon as possible when someone you love has been involved in a fatal accident.
The Law Office of Christopher Kalis serves Dallas, Fort Worth, Plano and surrounding Texas communities.