Wrongful death occurs when one person causes the death of another person through negligent actions. If you lose a close relative, you may be able to file such a claim in court.
However, FindLaw explains that you will need to ensure your case meets the general guidelines to prove wrongful death occurred. Keep in mind, you do not have to prove your case beyond a reasonable doubt. The standard for this type of case, which is a civil matter, only requires a preponderance of the evidence. Meaning you simply need to show the person had a liability in the case.
There should be a personal representative for the estate of the deceased person. The representative is someone who handles the affairs of the person and the estate. He or she acts on behalf of the person who died.
In a wrongful death case, the person must be dead. If he or she is simply injured, then the case cannot move forward. You would need to file a personal injury lawsuit.
You must be able to show the death of the person caused the family to have some monetary loss. For example, if a father died, it would be simple to show the loss of his income had an impact on the family.
Perhaps the key point to show in your case is the other person was negligent in some way. The negligence must have been the thing to lead to the death. You can also show an intent to cause harm, which led to the fatality.
You will want to review your case prior to filing with the court to avoid a waste of time and money. All elements should be present.
Recent years saw improvements in the numbers of deaths and injuries on U.S. and California roads. A variety of measures such as safety programs and campaigns and enhanced vehicle design led to a downward trend in accidents over the past decade.
Since 2020, though, traffic statistics show a return to more dangerous roads.
Traffic deaths increased in 2020
The clearest sign of perilous roads comes from an 8% increase in traffic deaths from 2019 to 2020. The Los Angeles Times reports that an estimated 42,000 people died on U.S. roads last year. This happened even as drivers logged 13% fewer miles than the year before.
Some observers blamed the increase in deaths on fewer drivers on the roads leading to more speeding violations. In 2020, California authorities issued double the normal number of citations for drivers going over 100 mph. Ironically, traffic congestion, which forces drivers to lower speeds, saved lives. This recent information may push traffic safety officials to focus on road safety at the expense of designing roads for faster speeds.
Traffic legislation measures also increased
Lawmakers in several states initiated legislation to address road safety, hoping to cut down on road deaths and injuries. One bill introduced in California aimed to allow local jurisdictions to have more control over speed limits. Traffic surveyors could take into account such factors as work zones and the presence of schools.
Other efforts in California look to improve enforcement of traffic violations, particularly speeding. This could lead to a reversal of the state’s ban on automated speed enforcement, at least in some localities. Provisions of legislation could include capping fees at $125, allowing a sliding scale for low-income drivers and making citations a civil offense.
You may consider yourself a safe driver, but you never know when another driver may hit you. No matter if you suffer major or minor damage, would you know how to react after a car accident?
AARP offers steps to take after motor vehicle accidents. Refresh your memory or learn the proper procedure for responding to a collision.
Check for damage
Immediately after the accident, check everyone for injuries, calling an ambulance for anyone who needs it. For minor accidents, move the vehicles to the side of the road out of traffic, and turn your hazard lights on. A major accident may make it difficult to move your car, so do not worry about it.
Call the police
A police report may prove essential if you have a personal injury case and for your insurance claim. Call them to the scene of the accident. Besides getting a copy of the report, note the officer’s badge number, name and contact information.
While waiting for the police, get the names, contact information, driver’s license numbers and insurance information of everyone involved in the accident, even passengers. Snap pictures of all vehicle and property damage, note the weather at the time of the accident and take images of nearby street signs and names. Ask witnesses for their statements, and record details about all the cars involved in the collision, such as the make and model.
Aside from checking others for injury, say nothing at the scene of the accident. You do not want to admit fault or say something that may harm your insurance claim or injury case.
You must know what actions to take and which to reconsider immediately after a car accident. Hopefully, you now feel better prepared to handle an unfortunate situation.