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What Happens When Someone Dies In a Car Accident In Massachusetts?
February 18, 2021
You or someone you know could be a passenger, a pedestrian, or a driver in a fatal car accident. But, whichever you are, you need to know what happens if someone dies in a car accident. This article will discuss this and the role of a Brockton car accident lawyer.
Research shows that in the United States alone, approximately 1.25 million deaths result from car accidents yearly. Car accidents are devastating experiences, and the family of the deceased suffers their loss if they die. Auto accidents can happen suddenly and affect individuals’ lives and even those around them.
When Someone Dies in a Car Accident How is Fault Determined?
Car accidents occur because of various reasons. After a fatal car accident, the first step is to determine the cause of the accident or the at-fault driver. The at-fault driver is the driver responsible for causing the collision. There can be more than one fault driver in an accident.
The following factors help to determine an at-fault driver in an accident:
Were Any of the Drivers Driving Under the Influence?
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal in Massachusetts. If one of the drivers was intoxicated while driving, such a person is usually the at-fault driver. This is because alcohol impairs the driver’s senses, making them more prone to causing an accident.
Did Any of the Drivers Drive Recklessly?
Massachusetts laid down several rules and regulations to guide motorists while on the road. Some of these regulations include speed limits, traffic signs, etc. When motorists ignore these rules, they are reckless drivers. Consult a Brockton car accident attorney when cited for reckless driving.
Was the Collision Due to Tailgating?
Tailgating occurs when one vehicle is following the car ahead too closely. The typical rule is that there should be at least two seconds between each car. But, for larger vehicles, there should be more space. If tailgating causes an accident, the driver behind is usually the at-fault driver.
Did Factors Outside the Driver’s Control Cause the Accident?
Some circumstances cause car accidents that none of the drivers could control. For instance, we have factors like terrible road conditions, slippery or wet roads from rain or snow, unpredictable mechanical failure, etc. Police reports, traffic cameras, eyewitness testimonies, etc., are forms of evidence that the court uses to determine the fault driver.
What Happens if the Deceased is the At-Fault Driver?
There are two outcomes after finding the at-fault driver: the deceased could be the fault driver or not. If the deceased is the at-fault driver, the victim would find out who will be liable for their expenses and compensation.
The victim’s compensation can come from two sources. The first source is from the deceased at-fault driver’s insurance company. This is the insurer they employed for their vehicle. The second option is that the compensation will come from the deceased’s estate or family members. This option is only available if they were not insured or underinsured.
The deceased’s insurer will compensate the other party for the following:
- Medical bills
- Loss of income
- Damages to vehicle
- Pain and suffering
What Happens if the Deceased is the Victim?
However, if it turns out that the deceased was not at fault in the car accident leading to their death, their family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit. When someone’s unlawful act or negligence leads to another individual’s end, the plaintiffs can file a wrongful death claim.
Those who can file for the deceased’s wrongful death are their parents, children, or spouse. They get the damages and compensation. However, filing a wrongful death claim can be a long and complicated process, which is why an auto accident lawyer in Brockton is essential. Apart from facing a wrongful death lawsuit, the at-fault driver might face charges such as vehicular manslaughter.
Some of the recognized damages in a wrongful death lawsuit are:
- Medical expenses
- Funeral costs
- Pain and suffering of the deceased before their death
- Pain and suffering of the surviving family members
- The dead person’s loss of inheritance
- Loss of the deceased’s wages
- Loss of companionship, care, nurturing, values, the deceased would have provided
The Law Office of Robert C. Shea, P.C. Can Handle Your Car Accident Claims
The Law Office of Robert C. Shea, P.C. is a personal injury law firm with an experienced legal team that uses every possible resource to obtain our clients’ justice. If anyone you know is hurt or dies in a car accident, you will need a car accident lawyer in Brockton, MA. We are more than capable of pursuing your claim.
We ensure that all our clients receive the maximum recovery in their cases. Furthermore, if we are not successful in your claim, we would not charge you for the services. So, stop the delay, and contact us today.