What You Should Know If Loved One Was Killed In Car Accident
The legal system cannot abolish the grief felt by a family that has lost a relative, due to the severe nature of a particular car accident. Still, that same system can help with offering relief for the family’s financial situation.
The first action that should be taken by the grieving family:
File a wrongful death claim. Each such claim consists of 2 actions.
1) A wrongful death action, which claims the loss of a loved one.
2) A survival action, which seeks compensation for damages. The damages to be compensated includes the expenses created while caring for the person that is now deceased.
The claim should be filed by one member of the family. It needs to be someone that the court would recognize as someone that deserves to be provided with an award for damages.
How does the court decide who deserves such an award?
The legal system specifies that only close and direct relatives can receive such an award. In other words, a stepson or stepdaughter would not qualify. Neither would a former spouse. Consequently, a family would not be able to pursue a wrongful death claim, if it asked a family member that lacked the proper status to carry-out the filing process.
What action would the same family be unable to take, although it might care to do so?
Often the family members that are grieving the loss of someone that was killed in a car accident hope to seek punitive damages. However, the legal system has placed restrictions on the families that are suing a driver for a wrongful death.
Those same families cannot seek punitive damages, unless they can prove that the responsible driver had a particular intention. The court must be convinced that the driver held liable for the accident had planned to harm the person that has died.
Obviously, it would be difficult to show what was in the mind of such a motorist. The only possible proof of improper/illegal intentions would have to come from some type of document, such as an entry in a diary, or perhaps an email. A Personal Injury Lawyer in Surrey might be hired to search for some other proof. For instance, maybe the driver’s voice was recorded during a time when he or she made a remark that suggested antipathy towards the decedent. Yet it is unlikely that a recorded statement would spell out plans for sitting behind the steering wheel of a car that caused a fatal accident.
The family could be wasting its resources and time, by trying to drum up a reason for punitive damages. It would probably be better to study carefully all the damages that ought to be reimbursed by the responsible driver’s insurance company.