Accidents are scary and often tragic. It is especially difficult when the accident is caused by the wrongdoing of another motorist. A fatal car accident can sometimes fall under wrongful death laws when there is adequate proof.
In Sumner, Washington there was a fatal motor vehicle accident on state route 410 in early May. The accident involved a full semi-truck, a pick-up and a car. At the accident scene, witnesses said the pick-up went across the highway barrier and collided with the car which was traveling in the opposite direction. The semi-truck then hit both the car and the pick-up. Both the driver of the car and the pick-up died in the accident.
A wrongful death may arise when someone dies due to the wrongdoing of another. When there is a wrongful death claim, the deceased person's family usually files suit. These litigants can include the parents, spouse or the children of the deceased. In a lawsuit they are known as the personal representative or representatives. With a wrongful death action, each state has its own wrongful death laws.
Washington has statutes that apply specifically to wrongful death and vary on whether an adult or child is the victim. In order to have a wrongful death claim of an adult there must be a person that has died due to the wrongdoing of another and the family must have suffered financially due to that death. The family must also choose a member as a representative. The damages the court usually grants can include money for things such as medical bills, burial and the money lost from the spouse or parent not working. All damages are determined by a jury and look at things such as how much the person who died would be making at their job if still alive.
Accidents like these can be traumatic due to the substantial loss involved. That loss is not just physical but can also be financial. Families of those that are deceased because of an accident should know their rights. If that accident was caused by another's wrongdoing then wrongful death might be a possible way to recover damages.
Source: The News Tribune "Two dead after pickup crosses lanes on State Route 410," Rob Carson, May 3, 2013