There are not many life experiences as devastating as losing a loved one. The pain is worsened when the death in question is attributable to another party’s unlawful actions. And while no amount of money can bring back the departed or heal your pain, filing a wrongful death lawsuit can ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve to protect your family.
Car accidents and fatal injuries are inextricably linked. But when exactly can you sue for wrongful death following a car crash?
Suing for wrongful death after a car accident
Legally speaking, death is deemed wrongful when it is occasioned by another party or entity’s reckless actions. In the context of a car crash, this may imply that the other driver’s unlawful, reckless and potentially illegal driving behavior resulted in fatal injuries that claimed the victim’s life.
Here are some of the instances when a driver’s conduct may warrant a wrongful death lawsuit:
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or illegal substances
- Exceeding the designated speed limits in a commercial, residential or school zone
- Violating basic traffic rules like running the red light
- Knowing driving a faulty car
- Distracted driving
- Changing lanes without signaling other road users
Most of these actions are criminal in nature. Thus, besides the civil lawsuit, the defendant may also face criminal charges.
Pursuing justice on behalf of the victim
A loved one’s preventable death can be devastating, to say the least. But while the law permits you to take legal action against the responsible party, it is important to understand that you cannot sue at your convenience. Per California personal injury laws, you have up to two years to bring a wrongful death claim. It is extremely important that you act within the statute of limitations period.