Each year thousands of people die after a car accident. Data from the Association for Safe International Road Travel shows that nearly 1.25 million people die due to car crashes every year. Many people die as soon as the accident occurs while others suffer devastating injuries. Injured victims might require immediate medical aid.
People who survive an auto accident experience emotional stress and mental anguish. The family members of the injured victim suffer as well and the accident may drain everyone financially due to expensive medical treatment.
It becomes a complex ordeal to interact with insurance companies while seeking compensation. However, if you or a loved one has been the victim of an auto accident, you must seek compensation for the medical bills and pain and suffering caused by the negligence and irresponsibility of others.
Accidents can be prevented when people follow safety rules and seat belt laws while driving. A police officer can stop a vehicle in case the driver or passengers have not been wearing seat belts or if the vehicle is operated in an unsafe way.
Criminal Liability That May Arise After A Car Crash
One of the fundamental reasons for car accidents is the recklessness of a driver. If the driver is speeding or drunk and causes an accident leading to the death of an individual, then punishment lies ahead.
In some cases, the driver who was at fault might face criminal manslaughter charges. This does not happen in every case, and some cases see no criminal liability will not be imposed. It varies from case to case and the District Attorney is ultimately responsible for making the final decision.
Different factors need to be evaluated before deciding that the driver who was at fault intentionally committed a crime.
- If the collision happened when the driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, this is considered an illegal activity in Philadelphia, as in the rest of Pennsylvania. In this case, the driver may be criminally culpable, and will probably be criminally charged.
- Another vital consideration is whether the driver who caused the accident did not abide by the traffic laws and was driving carelessly. It is the legal duty of every individual driving to maintain a certain standard of care for other people while driving.
- Failure to do so can cause serious consequences. Criminal charges may be filed against the driver who was at fault in driving with excessive speed or with negligence.
- The final factor that affects criminal charges are those factors apart from the driver’s negligence. Examples can include dangerous road conditions, mechanical failure or bad weather conditions. Under these circumstances, criminal charges may or may not be imposed.
Although a criminal conviction can make the task of receiving compensation for the victim in a civil suit easier, an accident victim or his family can pursue their remedies independently of criminal action from the District Attorney.
Who Can File A Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
The family members of the deceased are eligible to file a wrongful death claim in case an individual dies in a car accident. A personal injury lawsuit can be filed against the party who was at fault. In case you have been injured in a car accident or your loved one faced a serious or even fatal car accident then you may wish to take guidance from a Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyer.
Our skilled legal experts will investigate your case and will evaluate it completely. Some of the various factors that will be examined include:
Serving alcohol to a person who is already intoxicated: It is illegal to serve alcohol to an individual who can be seen as already intoxicated. The bars and restaurants serving such an individual will be held liable for their activity. Wrongful death lawsuits can also be filed against them in case the victim died due to drunk driving.
Malfunctioning parts of the car: Mechanical failure of any part of the car, including a blown tire, that has caused a car accident may face severe consequences. The manufacturer of the defective part may be legally liable for the injury of a victim or the wrongful death of a deceased person.
Employers of the driver: An employer can be held responsible for wrongful death in case the employee died at the workplace. Such a claim must be filed under the workers’ compensation system. If a driver of a commercial vehicle causes harm to another individual leading to injury or death, then the employer of the driver may be liable for the damages caused.
How Do You Deal With Insurance Companies After A Car Crash?
It is usually a challenging task to deal with the adjuster of an insurance company when seeking compensation. The insurance companies usually offer a minimal settlement amount. They will encourage you to sign an agreement accepting their first offer.
You may be tempted to accept the offer due to emotional and financial stress. However, you should not sign any agreement until you have consulted with an attorney. The real worth of the claim may be more than what they have offered.
Therefore, you must evaluate the actual worth of your claim. Compensation will be based on your medical bills, pain and suffering, any supplementary expenses, maintenance expenses, burial and funeral costs, and investigative costs.
If the victim who died was the only earning person in the household, compensation may be given for that as well. In your settlement, you should incorporate both the damages for injury to the victim, and damages for financial losses suffered by both the victim and family members.
The party at fault may be held liable to pay for both economic and non-economic damages. Non-economic damages can include mental anguish and loss of quality of life that family members used to live before the accident.
Your claim can be strengthened by gathering evidence both at the accident scene and soon thereafter. Things to look for include the police report, any photographs of the accident scene, and witnesses’ information.
You should also verify whether the insurance policy of the party at fault has a compensation policy or not. This preparation can help an attorney evaluate your case.