When an Indiana police officer notifies a family that one of their loved ones has died in a car accident, waves of shock and grief begin to ripple through the home and the community at large. If the victim was a young person, it seems to intensify sorrow and distress. It is common for a fatal collision to be caused by driver negligence.
If a motorist was distracted, intoxicated or driving recklessly, the loss of life might have easily been prevented. Coping with a loved one’s death in such circumstances is difficult, especially if feelings of frustration or anger set in toward the driver deemed responsible for the crash. Many families find it helpful to seek justice on behalf of their deceased loved one.
Family members could file a wrongful death claim
A spouse, parent or legal guardian or adult child of a deceased accident victim may wish to pursue wrongful death proceedings in civil court. A plaintiff in such a case must be able to prove certain elements, including that the defendant owed the victim a duty and was negligent. A plaintiff must also prove that this negligence was the proximate cause of the victim’s death.
Monetary damages can help family move forward
Moving on in life without a loved one is never easy, and financial distress that arises in the wake of a fatal collision can only add to a family’s pain. When the court rules in favor of a plaintiff in a wrongful death claim, the family may be able to offset accident-related expenses, such as funeral costs or medical bills, etc., with restitution the defendant is ordered to pay. Because this type of litigation is stressful and complicated, it is best to seek legal support before heading to court.