Victims of losses due to the negligence of another party may have important legal protections and resources to consider.

Only a couple of hours southeast of the Worcester area, a man was recently arrested for allegedly causing a fatal car accident last year that killed a child and injured the child’s mother and infant brother. The head-on collision resulted in the death of a three-year-old girl; her mother and brother were treated at a local hospital. The pickup truck that the man was driving crossed into the opposite lane and struck, head-on, the passenger vehicle driven by the mother with her two children inside. The three-year-old girl was airlifted to a children’s hospital, where she was in critical condition and died. The 30-year-old driver, who has been arrested, was charged with various crimes, including negligent homicide with a motor vehicle, reckless driving and distracted driving.

Both those injured in a car accident and the family members of those killed in a fatal accident may be able to bring a personal injury claim for damages suffered. A wrongful death cause of action can be brought by surviving family members who have suffered the loss of a loved one. Like a personal injury suit, a wrongful death cause of action is a type of personal injury claim for damages that is based on negligence. Criminal charges or citations that were issued in relation to the accident can generally be used to demonstrate the negligence of the party who caused the accident.

There are many different reasons that a family may wish to bring a wrongful death cause of action against the party who caused the fatal accident and claimed the life of the loved one. Families may wish to pursue a legal claim against the party who caused the unexpected loss. While wrongful death damages may depend on the circumstances surrounding the accident, surviving family members may be able to recover damages for the loss of companionship and pain and suffering resulting from their losses.

Family members who have suffered a tragic loss as a result of a fatal car crash do have protections through the legal process. Better understanding those protections, and the process of bringing a wrongful death cause of action against the responsible party, may be a course of action that victims sometimes may wish to pursue.

Source: The Hartford Courant, “Waterbury Man Arrested In Connection With Fatal Accident,” Feb. 22, 2014