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Some info on fatal car accidents and wrongful death lawsuits

Until every vehicle on the road is autonomous, car accidents are going to occur in massive numbers. And even in that perceived utopian future, self-driving car will break down, malfunction, and make mistakes every now and then. In other words, there will still be accidents. When accidents occur, there is always the possibility of fatal circumstances.

In 2014, 3,179 people were killed in motor vehicle accidents in the United States (with about 431,000 suffering injuries). That's almost nine deaths every day due to motor vehicle accidents. Fatal car accidents are heart-wrenching incidents that shatter families and leave people wondering "why?" In the wake of these accidents, it is normal for families and loved ones to be angry, emotional, and seeking answers.

This can lead to the deceased person's family, loved ones, and/or estate representatives to pursue wrongful death litigation against the people who caused the crash. This is a viable legal approach, but there are some common conditions that must be met first before filing a wrongful death claim.

First, another driver must have caused the fatal accident that claimed the life of your loved one. Second, the other driver must have been reckless, negligent, or at fault for the crash. This can include circumstances such as drunk driving, distracted driving, speeding, or the many other examples of dangerous driving. Third, the deceased person must be survived by a spouse, child, or other beneficiary. Fourth and finally, the person's death must have caused monetary damages.

Source: FindLaw, "Wrongful Death in a Car Accident," Accessed Oct. 3, 2017

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