Car crashes don’t just break bones or put vehicles out of commission. They cost people their lives. Catastrophic motor vehicle collisions can occur on any road and at any time. Despite the potential risk, you never expect that your loved one would get into their vehicle to go to work and then die on the way there or back home that afternoon.
That is the tragic reality for many families who suddenly have one less source of income to support their house and one less set of hands taking care of household responsibilities. Trying to handle the practical consequences of a fatal wreck can prove challenging.
What kinds of compensation can your family request after a fatal car crash?
You can file an insurance claim
Drivers should carry motor vehicle liability coverage, and commercial transportation companies typically have even larger insurance policies. You can make a claim for the financial losses your family has endured because of a family member’s death, but you won’t receive anything beyond the policy limits that apply. The amount of coverage the responsive party paid for will determine how much the company will pay, they will never exceed the policy limit.
You can file a wrongful death claim
State law in Mississippi gives the surviving family members of someone who dies tragically certain rights. You can potentially file a civil lawsuit against an individual or business that caused the death of your loved one through an omission, negligence or obviously wrongful conduct, like violating traffic laws by driving while drunk.
There won’t be firm limits to what you seek in a wrongful death lawsuit the way there would be with an insurance claim. Any provable losses, ranging from future income to medical expenses incurred before your loved one died, could contribute to the total value of the claim that you make. In cases involving illegal activity and gross negligence, the courts might even award punitive damages as a way of punishing the party that caused the crash.
You may have the right to bring such a claim, but you will need to act quickly, as there is a statute of limitations that starts counting down as soon as your loved one dies. Bringing a wrongful death claim in addition to filing an insurance claim can more thoroughly protect families affected by a recent tragic crash.