Losing a loved one is a tragic event. Grieving and recovery can be your main focus, if you have a lawyer who can handle the legal aspects of recovering financial damages. Even if your loved one was unbuckled at the time of the accident, a liable party may be at fault for their death and may owe you compensation.
We believe that you should not attempt to represent yourself and that a lawyer can build a viable case for you while you focus on recovering from this traumatic incident. Call Sevenish Law Firm, P.C. today at (317) 636-7777 to discuss your case in a free consultation.
Know the Behaviors That Qualify as Negligence
Every driver on the road has a duty of care, which means that they must not put others at an unreasonable risk of harm or they risk the consequences if they cause an accident. Dangerous driving behaviors that represent a violation of motorists’ duty of care are alarmingly prevalent.
Some driver behaviors that increase the risk of accidents include:
- Swerving in and out of lanes
- Failing to maintain lane integrity, even for a moment
- Not signaling before changing lanes or turning
- Driving while drunk or on drugs
- Texting while driving
- Making a phone call while driving
- Eating or drinking while driving
- Taking eyes off of the road for any reason, including adjusting the entertainment system
- Tending to animals in the vehicle instead of driving attentively
These and other behaviors increase the risk of collision with other motor vehicles and pedestrians, and they may qualify as negligent behavior when an accident does occur. If another motorist acted negligently and contributed to the accident that caused the death of a passenger in your vehicle, even if it was an unbuckled rear passenger death, they may be liable to pay you damages.
A Lawyer Can Help You Prove Negligence And Collect Damages
If you lost a loved one in an accident, you have a right to hold the liable party legally responsible. Our team at the Sevenish Law Firm, P.C. wants to ensure that your family receives the compensation that you are eligible for. We can assist you by:
- Meeting you to document your account of the accident and the liable party’s behavior(s) that led to the collision.
- Initiating legal action immediately to ensure that we abide by any relevant statutes of limitation.
- Reviewing previously documented witness accounts of the accident.
- Reviewing and archiving evidence of the collision and its causes, including video recordings, photographs, and police reports.
- Re-interviewing witnesses to the crash, especially if their original accounts did not focus on potentially negligent behaviors of the liable party.
- Meeting with medical professionals to obtain documentation of all injuries and deaths that resulted from the crash.
- Ensuring that your family’s rights are protected throughout the legal process.
A critical aspect of any wrongful death or personal injury case is establishing that the liable motorist breached their duty of care, and in doing so, became liable for the results of the accident. Call our team at the Sevenish Law Firm, P.C. today at (317) 636-7777 to speak about your case with a member of our team.
We Will Aim to Establish Fault in Your Case
We will strive to prove that the defendant in your case acted in a way that makes them liable for your losses, including the death of the unbuckled rear passenger in your accident. We will work to prove this liability through a four-step process:
- Establishing that the defendant owed you and your loved one a duty of care
Every driver on Indiana’s roads implicitly accepts a duty when they get behind the wheel. That responsibility is called a duty of care, and it compels drivers to act in ways that do not put other motorists, passengers, and pedestrians at an unreasonable risk of harm.
- Showing that the defendant breached their duty of care
If they engaged in any of the aforementioned dangerous driving behaviors, they likely breached their legal duty of care.
- Proving causation between the breach of care and your loved one’s death
If the defendant caused the accident in which your loved one passed away, then there may be a clear causal link.
- Calculating and lobbying the court for damages
We will calculate the total losses that your family has endured because of the accident and seek a settlement or judgment that provides fair compensation.
Indiana’s contributory fault statute states that even if the court finds that you were partially at fault for the accident, you could still be eligible to collect damages.
Potential Damages Awarded in a Wrongful Death Claim
Even if there was an unbuckled rear passenger in your vehicle at the time of the accident, the court may order that the defendant pays for some or all of your losses. Potential damages that you may be awarded could cover the cost of:
- The ambulance from the scene of the accident
- Any emergency treatment you required after the accident
- Long-term medical treatment
- Lost wages due to an inability to work after the accident
- Diminished earning capacity because of your injuries
- Long-term physical and mental treatment required because of injuries and trauma sustained in the accident
With respect to the person, including an unbuckled rear passenger, who passed away because of the accident, your family could be awarded damages covering:
- Your loved one’s medical care
- Funeral costs
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages of the deceased
- Loss of guidance (children of the deceased)
- Loss of companionship (spouse of the deceased)
- Punitive damages against the defendant
Call Our Team at Sevenish Law Firm, P.C. Today
It is important that you not wait to call a lawyer if you have lost a loved one or been injured yourself in a motor vehicle collision. The statute of limitations for both wrongful death and personal injury claims in Indiana is generally two years from the date of the accident or the date of your loved one’s passing.
Call our team at the Sevenish Law Firm, P.C. today at (317) 636-7777 to speak about your legal options.