In a world filled with negligent motorists, exhausted truckers, and drunk drivers, the odds of dying in a car crash might seem stacked against you. After all, it only takes one mistake or reckless choice to cause a crash that could take your life.
If someone you love has passed away in an accident, we extend our deepest condolences to you and your family. To make this time slightly more manageable, a wrongful death attorney from Miller, Dawson, Sigal & Ward Injury Attorneys can help you pursue justice.
Odds of Suffering a Fatal Injury in a Car Crash
According to statistics on preventable deaths, the odds of dying in a car crash are one in one hundred and one. This might sound like a startling statistic, but there’s a lot you can do to prevent a fatal accident. Following driving safety tips can drastically reduce the likelihood of a life-threatening collision.
How to Reduce the Odds of a Fatal Collision
There are several simple precautions you can take that may potentially save your life. Follow these safety tips to lower your odds of getting in a serious accident and dying in a car crash:
- Buckle up
- Stay alert of obstacles and other cars on the road
- Look out for standing water when it’s raining
- Use headlamps or high beams in foggy weather and at night
- Slow down near work and construction zones
- Keep a safe distance from aggressive drivers
- Review the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s tips for road safety
Unfortunately, even the safest driver can suffer fatal injuries due to the reckless actions of another driver. When lives are cut short by careless motorists, grieving families have the right to pursue compensation and justice on behalf of their deceased loved ones.
What to Do After a Loved One Has Died in a Car Crash
If your loved one has been taken from you too soon in an accident, a lawyer can guide you through the process of filing a lawsuit. Filing a suit can help you hold the at-fault driver liable for the pain, grief, and financial upsets your family has endured due to this horrible incident.
While taking legal action won’t turn back time and prevent your loved one from dying in a crash, it can help you persevere through this difficult time. Here’s what you can do to get the most out of your wrongful death lawsuit:
Hire an Attorney ASAP
Losing a dear family member can make you feel powerless, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t seek justice on their behalf. To make sure the party that caused your loved one’s death is held responsible, you’ll want to hire a lawyer and get started on your lawsuit ASAP.
Doing so will ensure that important evidence is collected and analyzed before it goes missing. Getting an early start on your suit will also allow your attorney to interview eyewitnesses while their memories of the deadly crash are still fresh.
Familiarize Yourself With the Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations tells you how long you have to submit your wrongful death suit. Getting your suit filed on time can drastically improve your odds of receiving compensation for the losses caused by your loved one’s deadly car crash.
Under S.C. Code § 15-51-10, you generally have three years from the date of your loved one’s death to file a lawsuit. This statute only applies to wrongful death cases in South Carolina, so if you’re seeking damages in a different state, you’ll want to research your state’s filing requirements.
Save Records, Bills, and Other Important Documents
Your attorney will need substantial evidence to obtain compensation on your behalf. While your lawyer can collect a great deal of evidence for your case, you can help them by holding on to relevant receipts and records. Make sure to hold on to the following documents:
- Invoices that show funeral and burial costs
- Vehicle repair bills
- The decedent’s end-of-life medical bills and records
- Documents that show financial support you received from the decedent
- A journal of how your loved one’s death has affected your mental health
Holding onto these records and handing them over to your attorney can give your case the support it needs to be successful.
Compensation You Might Receive From a Successful Suit
Hiring an attorney soon after your loved one’s passing, understanding the statute of limitations, and saving important records will greatly improve your chances of receiving a fair jury verdict.
If your suit is successful, you could receive a number of different damages, all geared toward helping you and your family stay financially and emotionally stable during this dark time.
Once your case has reached a conclusion, you could receive any of the following damages:
- Funeral, burial, and cemetery expenses
- Medical bills
- Vehicle repair and property damage costs
- Loss of financial support
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
To help you get the most out of your suit, your attorney will meet with you to discuss the financial losses and emotional challenges you’ve experienced due to the loss of your loved one. Based on your conversation and the financial documents you provide, they’ll determine which damage you’re eligible to receive and how much compensation you’re owed.
We Can Help You Take Action After a Deadly Car Crash
Learning about the odds of dying in a car crash can be frightening, but there are many steps you can take to protect yourself from life-threatening collisions. Sadly, not everyone takes the correct precautions when driving. If your loved one has been killed in an accident caused by an unsafe driver, you have the right to seek compensation.
At Miller, Dawson, Sigal & Ward Injury Attorneys, we can help you pursue the damages you need to make it through this deeply upsetting time in your life. Contact a wrongful death attorney today to discuss your situation and learn more about your legal options.