Getting into a vehicle when someone else is driving is often a matter of trust. In fact, some Virginia drivers may not even consider that their lives may be in danger if the person behind the wheel is not fit to drive. If an accident resulting from the driver’s negligence or recklessness causes someone else’s wrongful death, the family may consider filing a wrongful death claim.
Uncomfortable as it may be to think about money after a loved one dies, family members may have many financial concerns following a tragic and unexpected death. For example, a recent traffic accident claimed the life of a passenger and resulted in serious injuries to two other passengers. In the early morning hours of a recent weekday, the driver allegedly lost control of the vehicle while traveling at a high rate of speed. The vehicle left the roadway. When the driver apparently over-corrected in trying to avoid a crash, the vehicle crossed to the other side of the road, struck an embankment and rolled.
A 25-year-old passenger was ejected and died at the scene. Two other passengers suffered serious injuries and were transported by helicopter to a local medical center. The driver suffered only minor injuries, and Virginia police arrested him for DUI manslaughter and two counts of DUI maiming. The driver’s license was still revoked because a previous drunk driving conviction.
Wrongful death claims are complex, and each situation has its unique factors and complications. A positive outcome includes receiving compensation for funeral costs, final medical expenses, lost wages and emotional suffering. A compassionate attorney with extensive experience can be an invaluable asset when pursuing justice for a loved one.
A wrongful death lawsuit is a key part of civil justice. It holds a negligent person responsible for the harm inflicted on family members by the untimely passing of their loved one. In the case of an unmarried teenager with no dependents, the damages from the wrongful death claim would normally go to the parents.
Wrongful death considerations
Often, parents turn away from the change to pursue a wrongful death claim because they feel it’s an attempt to profit from the death of their child—nothing could be further from the truth. A wrongful death lawsuit is designed to uphold justice by publicly identifying the person responsible for ending another person’s life, and by compensating the family as much as possible for their losses, such as:
- Medical expenses from the fatal accident
- Funeral and burial costs
- Emotional trauma
- Lost companionship of your son for the future
- Punitive damages for callously neglecting passenger safety