When you are plunged into the depths of despair after losing a loved one in a car accident, you might be vulnerable to making poor decisions, such as accepting a fraction of the compensation that you deserve. One decision you should make is to contact a car accident attorney to explore your options after a person in your family has been killed due to a collision.
You might be able to file a wrongful death claim and get a feeling of justice being served and the compensation that you deserve, although it will not of course bring back your loved one. There is much satisfaction to be gained in seeing a negligent party brought to justice after a fatal vehicle accident. A good car accident lawyer can work hard to make that happen and leave everyone feeling a little bit better after the terrible accident.
There are many scenarios, of course, for fatal vehicle accidents, such as:
- Struck by a commercial truck
- Hit by a city bus
- Rammed by a commercial train
- Thrown off course and into an immovable object by a motorcycle
- Striking debris in the road that causes a loss of control and a deadly collision
- Airbag deployed with too much force or fatal gases escaping
In all of these instances and others, a competent car accident attorney will be careful to gather all of the evidence and begin to build a case that can help you to recoup the medical expenses that you have incurred, funeral expenses, lost income and even loss of companionship, which is quantified by the judge.
You do have to be careful when you hire a car accident lawyer because you will want an attorney that will handle your case with compassion and a lot of TLC, not in a numbers-crunching, business-as-usual manner. You also might need a lawyer that can come to your home or hospital bed if you are injured or overwhelmed by grief and not making public appearances.
In the vast majority of cases, your car accident lawyer will work on a contingency fee basis, not requiring payment until a verdict or settlement is reached. If you have a need for cash immediately, as in the case of a family where a primary wage-earner has died and little or no life insurance has kicked in, there are firms that will lend you money in anticipation of a successful verdict in court. These “settlement loans” should be taken out with extreme caution, but they can prove to be handy in a case of dire financial need.
It should be noted that in cases of a wrongful death claim, the wheels of justice move a bit more slowly than some would like. It could be months or years before you are given compensation by the court. Despite this delay, it is not advisable to eagerly accept whatever an insurance company is willing to give you. The company insuring the vehicle that struck your loved one’s, for instance, will be aiming to keep its payout to an absolute minimum and fault equally shared.
As a for-profit business, the insurance company has no incentive for justice to be served or for huge sums of money to be granted to you for costs that do not come under typical insurance policies, such as loss of companionship and lost wages. These companies often put a lot of pressure on people who have lost loved ones to accept a quick settlement, sometimes threatening lengthy and costly legal battles, which you should accept if you have engaged an expert car accident lawyer.
A reputable car accident attorney can build a case for you and get the compensation that you deserve, as well as justice to be served. The peace of mind gained from both of those rewards is hard to calculate, but it can certainly make the death of a loved one a bit less traumatic.