Sometimes, motor vehicle collisions result in tragic consequences. Collisions involving pedestrians, semi-trucks or vehicles traveling at high speeds sometimes end with a person dying.
State laws require that those driving their own vehicles or employer vehicles for work carry insurance. The insurance requirements for a semi-truck, for example, mean that there will be at least $750,000 worth of insurance potentially available in the event of a crash victim’s death.
Despite insurance requirements, many fatal car crashes lead to civil lawsuits filed by surviving loved ones of fatal accident victims. Wrongful death lawsuits allow those affected by a loved one’s untimely death to pursue compensation for the loss they have experienced.
An early death is very expensive
Even if an insurance company agrees to pay the maximum amount of coverage available after a deadly crash, the true financial consequences of someone’s premature death will probably be far higher than the payout from the insurance company. Families have to think about what someone would have earned if they had lived.
People may have qualified for raises and promotions if they survived the crash, as well as years of employment benefits that could drastically increase the financial impact of their employment. There are also the unpaid services that people provide to their families, including housework and personal support. Those who look at the lifetime impact of a collision will often realize that even a six-figure insurance payout will force them to cover some of those losses. A wrongful death lawsuit can lead to full compensation for the financial impact of a deadly crash and also certain non-economic losses.
Families want justice after a tragedy
Wrongful death lawsuits are not just about money. They are also about consequences and accountability. Fatal crashes do not always lead to prosecution, and criminal charges don’t necessarily lead to a conviction. A wrongful death lawsuit can help families obtain justice if it is successful. The courts can declare that a business or individual was to blame for someone’s death because of misconduct or negligence. That ruling, combined with financial compensation, can give those shocked by an unexpected tragedy a better sense of closure.
Understanding why people pursue wrongful death lawsuits might help surviving loved ones to make more informed choices when responding to a recent family tragedy. Seeking legal guidance can provide support and clarity in this regard.