Fatal accidents leave suffering families with options they may wish to consider.

A 30-year old woman was recently arraigned in Worcester court after a hit and run accident. Although the accident was not a fatal accident, it has left a 57-year old Worcester man in critical condition. Police say that the woman was involved in an accident with another car that left the man in critical condition but that she fled the scene. Police arrested her after locating her vehicle with fresh damage that matched vehicle parts left at the scene. She was charged with operating a motor vehicle causing serious injury, leaving the scene of personal injury and leaving the scene of property damage.

For anyone who has experienced the loss of a loved one in a fatal accident, especially as a result of the negligence of another, questions about what to do may face them. In addition to loss of companionship and pain and suffering damages, the party may find that additional compensation for the loss is needed. The loss of a loved one because of the negligence of another party can give rise to a wrongful death cause of action.

A wrongful death cause of action is a personal injury action brought by the personal representative of the lost loved one’s estate for the losses suffered by the family. Families can recover economic damages for the loss of support and services; lost prospect of inheritance; and medical and funeral expenses. To determine pecuniary damages that will be available, the court will look to characteristics of the lost loved one such as age, condition, earning capacity, life expectancy, health and intelligence. Circumstances of the family members left behind will also be considered.

The loss of a loved one can be immensely painful. If it happened as a result of the negligence of another, a wrongful death cause of action may be available to surviving family members.

Source: Masslive.com, “Worcester woman arraigned on charges related to hit-and-run accident on Saturday morning,” Kevin Koczwara, April 8, 2013.