When a negligent car accident takes the life of someone you love, you may feel that holding the responsible party to account is a top priority. Contrary to common belief, accountability is usually the impetus for most wrongful death claims, not possible financial gains.
Do you know who truly bears the blame for your loss? Is it the other driver, or a third party? Perhaps it is both. You must look at the accident thoughtfully and objectively to ensure you have identified all responsible parties.
Where can you look for fault?
Obviously, the other motorist may have caused the accident and the death if they were intoxicated, distracted or violating traffic laws. They should probably be the first party you investigate. Other potentially liable parties may include:
- The other driver’s employer if the accident happened while they were on duty.
- Vehicle or auto part manufacturers if a defect caused or contributed to the crash.
- Government entities that may have contributed to the accident through poor road maintenance practices.
- Trucking companies if the accident involved a tractor-trailer or other large commercial vehicle.
Identifying all who played a part in the accident ensures no one escapes justice for the senseless tragedy that robbed you of someone you love.
Who can file a wrongful death claim?
Under California law, those who may be eligible for a claim include the decedent’s spouse or domestic partner, children, parents or possibly even their grandchildren. It depends on the kinship chain specific to the decedent.
Nothing can replace the loss of a cherished family member, but seeking justice may improve your ability to cope. Legal guidance can help you understand state negligence laws and use them to strengthen your wrongful death claim.