Criminal And Civil Liability: Things To Consider After A Loved One Dies In A Car Accident
If your loved one has died in a car accident, you have a lot of grief and other emotions to deal with. However, at the same time, you also may face cremation, burial or funeral costs, or even medical costs or vehicle repair costs. To deal with these costs, you may want to determine if the other driver or some other entity may be required to cover them. Here are some points to consider:
1. Driver Negligence
If your loved one was not the driver and you can prove that the driver was negligent, you may be able to hold them or their insurance company liable for the pain and suffering you have endured as well as other damages. Driver negligence can be related to drinking while driving, texting or other distractions. Similarly, if the driver wasn't licensed or was knowingly driving while exhausted, those may also be signs of negligence.
2. Manufacturer Negligence
In other cases, whether your loved one was driving or not, the driver may not be at fault. If any part of the vehicle or its safety components was judged to be unsafe, the manufacturer of the vehicle may be liable for the accident. Additionally, you may also want to talk with an attorney about holding the city or other entities liable for the accident.
3. Other Drivers
If there was another driver involved in the accident, you may need to hold them liable for the accident. To hold an individual liable, your lawyer typically charges the individual's insurance company with the case, but if the individual is uninsured or underinsured, their personal assets may be at stake. However, if the driver was driving a company vehicle or on the clock when the accident occurred, the company they work for may be responsible.
4. Criminal Guilt
After an accident, many people turn to personal injury lawyers to help with their cases. However, that is not the only direction you may want to look. In many cases, the person responsible for a car accident may be criminally liable as well. The laws vary from state to state, but some states judge reckless drivers to be criminally liable for vehicular homicide while other states require gross negligence.
5. Criminal Restitution
If someone is found criminally responsible, there may be cases where they have to pay criminal restitution. If your loved one has died and the driver at-fault is judged to be criminally responsible, the restitution may cover costs related to funeral expenses, lost wages, medical costs and other expenses.
For more guidance on what to do, contact a lawyer. They can help you determine if you have a civil or criminal case on your hands, and they can guide you in the right direction. Click for more information.