An increase of the number of cars on the road comes with a burgeoning likelihood of someone dying in a deadly car crash. With easing COVID-19 restrictions, the road in Los Angeles is back to being busier than ever. Graphic car crashes are bound to occur, and this is reflected in the data produced by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently. They stated that an estimate of 43,000 people died due to traffic fatalities in 2021, a 10% increase and a stark contrast to the preceding year’s 38,824. This is a manifestation of the increase in fatalities across the board, including those related to multi-vehicle crashes (<16%), urban roads (<16%), the elderly (<14%), pedestrians (<13%), motorcyclists (<9%), etc.
Indeed, gruesome car accidents have been occurring at an alarming rate the past year. With increasing wrongful deaths in a car accident, we must know the appropriate legal steps to take should this tragedy befall those we love.
Who Can File A Wrongful Death Lawsuit After A Car Accident?
According to the California Code, Code of Civil Procedure § 377.60, people can file a wrongful death lawsuit case on behalf of the decedent given that they are:
- The surviving spouse, domestic partner, children, and their direct descendants. If there are no surviving descendants (or “issue” in legalese), the people “entitled to the property of the decedent by intestate succession” or those entitled to the inheritance of the deceased (ie: surviving spouse or domestic spouse) can file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the decedent.
- The decedent’s dependents
- The putative spouse and their children. As defined by the law, a spouse can only be considered “putative” if the court finds the relationship to be “in good faith” (ie: marriage)
- A minor that lived under the decedent’s house for 180 days prior to the decedent’s death and “was dependent for one-half or more of the minor’s support”
4 Elements Of A Wrongful Death Lawsuit After A Car Accident
- Negligence: In a wrongful death lawsuit, one must prove that the other party was reckless and careless which resulted in the death of the decedent.
- Breach of Duty: Another element in a wrongful death lawsuit is proving that the other party owed the decedent a duty of reasonable care. Drivers on the road, for example, have a responsibility to follow all traffic rules.
- Causation: One thing you need for your wrongful death lawsuit is to prove that the other party’s negligence caused the death of the decedent.
- Damages: Lastly, in a successful wrongful death lawsuit, quantifiable damages must be made. This includes:
- Funeral costs
- Lost wages
- Medical bills
- And more!
About Omega Law Group
Our awards and excellent testimonials are a result of our ability to empathize and attend to the needs of our clients. Here at Omega Law Group, you will come first. If you or a loved one is afflicted with an accident, reach out to our team. Visit our Contact Us page or call us at (310) 504-1852.