The loss of a loved one, under any circumstances, is an emotionally devastating experience. Yet, the abruptness of a death caused by a car accident can leave surviving family members distraught, stunned and unprepared, especially when the fatal accident was caused by the negligence of another. While many times the deceased is driving in a different vehicle from the negligent driver, this is not always the case, as evidenced by a recent crash in Grainger County.
There, a man was killed when the car he was riding in turned left in front of an oncoming vehicle. To determine which driver is responsible for the death, many factors must be examined. For example, if the driver of the car in which the deceased was riding simply failed to yield, then she may be responsible. On the other hand, if it can be proven the driver of the oncoming vehicle was speeding, then he may be held accountable.
Either way, the deceased's family might be left in emotional and financial pain. Though time may be the only remedy for emotional distress, a lawsuit may help alleviate some of the financial strain. A surviving family member can file a wrongful death lawsuit to seek to recover compensation from the responsible driver.
Wrongful death claims require several elements to be proven before they can succeed. It must be shown the accused driver was negligent and that negligence caused the deceased's death. Negligence can be proven by showing the driver was impaired, failed to yield, or was speeding at the time of the accident.
If these factors are satisfied, a surviving family may receive compensation. Awards for medical expenses stemming from the accident, pain and suffering felt by the deceased before passing, and funeral expenses can all be sought. While this money may not help ease the emotional hole left by the loss of a loved one, it might free the family from undeserved financial burdens so they can focus on the memories of their loved one.
Source: Knoxville News-Sentinel, "THP: One killed, one injured in Grainger County crash," May 7, 2013