Losing a loved one in a car accident is a terrible tragedy. Losing a child is even worse. Driving is very dangerous, even in perfect conditions. No matter how many safety precautions you take, or how much time you spent teaching your teen to drive, it is impossible to prepare fully for the mistakes other drivers make.
While nothing will ever bring your child back, you may be able to receive justice in the form of compensation for the wrongful death. Filing a wrongful death suit against the driver that was responsible for the accident can be a very complicated process. An experienced personal injury attorney in the Baton Rouge area can advise you on how best to pursue your case.
Below, you will find information on common causes of fatal car accidents and your options for filing a claim.
Common causes of car accidents
It seems like every day there is at least one fatal car accident that you hear about on the news. There are many causes of car accidents, but some are more common than others are. For example, texting and driving is a focal point for safety advocates and law enforcement. Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is another common cause of tragic accidents. Reckless driving, fatigue, poor roads and inclement weather conditions also contribute to many fatal car wrecks. In addition, car manufacturing defects and inexperienced or elderly drivers are among the top causes of motor vehicle accidents.
Elements of your claim
In general, most states will require that you prove certain elements to go forth with a successful wrongful death case. For example, another drive must have caused the accident. Furthermore, the other driver must have acted negligently, violated traffic laws or was otherwise at fault. In addition, there must be monetary damages related to the accident. If your teen was not killed on impact but spent several weeks in the hospital before succumbing to the injuries from the wreck, a successful suit may cover those medical costs.
Your right to file
As the parent, you are an immediate family member of the deceased, and therefore, the personal representative of your daughter’s estate who can file the suit. In general, the person appointed to represent the estate has to be the person to file a wrongful death claim on behalf of the estate and surviving family members.
Losing a loved one in a senseless accident is devastating. While your child can never be brought back, you may be able to reduce the financial burden brought on by the weeks in the hospital and final expenses for burial or cremation. Before filing a wrongful death lawsuit, it is important to understand your rights and options as a surviving family member. Contact a local Baton Rouge personal injury attorney for guidance in filing a lawsuit.