You are not alone if you have recently lost a loved one due to a fatal car accident. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 43,000 individuals lost their lives on American roads in 2021 alone. And yet, our firm’s decades of combined experience representing the interests of surviving loved ones of such crashes has taught us that navigating this particular grief can feel very isolating for individuals. Even though tens of thousands of American families suffer losses like yours each year, chances are that you could feel very much alone at this time in your life.
Please understand that you don’t need to navigate the financial and legal consequences of your loved one’s loss by yourself. While our firm cannot take away your pain, we can help to ensure that you and your fellow surviving loved ones are not unduly burdened by the kinds of legal and financial challenges that tend to arise in the wake of a fatal car crash.
Can You File A Personal Injury Lawsuit?
It is essential to avoid making assumptions about the circumstances that led to your loved one’s crash until our legal team has been allowed to investigate it thoroughly and objectively. Why? At first glance, it is often tough to discern the cause(s) of a crash and who may be held responsible for the damage the crash caused.
Say, for example, that your loved one perished due to a single-vehicle crash and their blood alcohol concentration was just over the legal limit at the time the wreck occurred. You may be under the impression that there is no way for you to seek any compensation because your loved one’s tragic crash was their fault. Upon investigation, we learn that your loved one had to flee a violent situation even though they’d been drinking socially before leaving the dangerous scene. They were forced off the road by someone enraged and trying to cause them harm. Additionally, your loved one’s brakes were faulty. In this example, you had (understandably) assumed that you weren’t entitled to any compensation when, in reality, you are likely owed considerable damages from several potential defendants.
Generally speaking, you’re in a solid position to consider filing a lawsuit as a surviving loved one in California if your loved one’s fatal crash meets these three criteria:
- The defendant named in your case owed your loved one a duty of care under the law.
- The defendant failed to honor that duty as a result of reckless, negligent, or intentionally dangerous conduct.
- Your loved one’s fatal injuries resulted directly from the defendant’s conduct.
Remember that it isn’t always easy to confirm that your situation is actionable at a glance. Our firm can assess your legal situation and provide you with objective guidance about your options. Because of California’s embrace of something called the “pure comparative negligence” theory of law, we may advise you that you have a strong case even if your loved one was partially to blame for their accident. We can calculate the potential financial value of your case so that you can decide if filing legal action is worth your family’s time and effort.
Negotiating With Insurance Representatives
You may be hesitant to explore your legal options until your grief has become incrementally more manageable to bear. Although this instinct is truly understandable, consider seeking legal guidance as soon as you can. One of the reasons why a proactive approach is so important is that insurance representatives may already be hounding you – and if they’re not, they might be soon.
Allowing our firm to negotiate with insurance representatives on your behalf will better allow you to focus your energy on yourself and your loved ones during this terrible time. We’ll look out for your interests and ensure that none of the insurance industry tactics keep you from receiving the fairly-valued settlement that you and your fellow surviving loved ones deserve.
When Fatal Car Wrecks Are Work-Related
Suppose your loved one was engaged in work-related activities at the time of their accident. In that case, you and other surviving loved ones may be entitled to collect workers’ compensation death benefits. These benefits are generally made available to surviving spouses and dependents of an employee who perished due to a work-related accident or illness. Most of the time, workers’ comp insurance covers full-time and part-time workers. Independent contractors are generally ineligible for coverage, but you may still be entitled to benefits if your loved one was wrongfully classified as an independent contractor.
Your loved one did not need to drive for a living in order to be engaged in work-related activities at the time of their crash. Perhaps they were traveling to a work-mandated activity or running an errand for their boss. Perhaps they were struck by a vehicle while working construction on the side of the road. Whatever the circumstances of their crash, if it was work-related, please connect with our firm as soon as you can to discuss your situation. Applying for workers’ compensation death benefits is a very time-sensitive process, and we don’t want you to miss out on any compensation to which you may be rightfully entitled.
Schedule A Consultation With A Dedicated West Virginia Car Accident Attorney Today
Losing a loved one as a result of a car accident is devastating. Know that while we understand that no amount of compensation is going to make up for what you have lost, we want to help you and your family in the best way we know how. Our team has decades of combined experience advocating for the rights of surviving loved ones, and we have seen how addressing financial burdens associated with loss and seeking justice on behalf of the deceased can help to bring families some measure of peace.
Our firm is proud to offer free legal consultations to any surviving loved ones of injury victims. We believe there is little point in having your rights safeguarded by law if you’re not told what those rights are and how to exercise them. Please allow us to help you make informed decisions on behalf of your family during this time of terrible grief. To learn more about your rights and our approach to representation, connect with the compassionate personal injury lawyers at Salango Law today by calling 304-342-0512 or contacting us online. We look forward to speaking with you.