Motor vehicles can make modern life a lot easier by facilitating speedy, independent travel. People no longer have to live in direct proximity to where they work, which is particularly beneficial in places like Detroit, where the best jobs may be located in downtown areas far from housing opportunities, as well as in the Upper Pennisula with its large areas of undeveloped land.
Unfortunately, with all of the convenience that a motor vehicle offers you, it also creates a substantial amount of personal risk. That risk is all too easy to ignore until something happens that has a drastic, negative impact on your family. Car crashes can leave someone with severe injuries, such as closed head injuries that damage the brain or spinal cord injuries that permanently reduce someone’s mobility.
Injuries can diminish someone’s quality of life and eventually lead to their death. Not all serious crashes kill someone at the time of the collision. People can and do succumb to injuries many months or even years after a wreck. If your family has recently lost a loved one to a long-term injury suffered in a collision, you probably have questions about your rights. Specifically, you may wonder if it is possible to hold the driver who caused the crash responsible for the impact on your family.
Wrongful death lawsuits allow grieving family members a pathway to justice
When someone decides to get behind the wheel of a car after drinking, to send a text message instead of looking ahead at the road or to drive a vehicle they know is in serious disrepair, they endanger other people unnecessarily. If their decision results in a crash that hurts someone else, the injured party has the right to bring a personal injury lawsuit against the driver.
Those rights to take civil action transfer to surviving family members in the event that the injuries caused in the crash eventually prove fatal. In a wrongful death claim, you allege that the criminal or negligent acts of another person had a direct, verifiable financial impact on your family. That impact often does include the costs of medical care incurred by the now-deceased party prior to succumbing to their injuries.
Know what compensation you should receive
Wrongful death actions can help you close the gap between how much money your family needs to survive and how much they actually have after a tragic crash. Your claim could include the cost of medical treatment and a funeral for your loved one.
The amount you seek could also include future financial losses, such as lost wages, loss of inheritance and loss of support. In addition to the medical costs your loved one incurred, you can seek compensation for their pain and suffering due to the injuries they received before they died.