In car accident cases, not all victims live until the legal process ends. These victims sustained injuries that are quite serious that they could not make a recovery. When a car accident victim filed a claim for their injuries; however, died later due to complications, what happens to their claim? Can a family member take over it? In these complex cases, it is best for those left behind to work with car accident attorneys Los Angeles to know their legal options. Here are some of the options an experienced attorney may recommend:
Filing a Wrongful Death Claim
When an injured car crash victim dies during the claim process, their case becomes a wrongful death. Loved ones of the deceased can file a wrongful death claim to seek damages. The estate representative of the deceased can also file this claim to collect damages for the survivors. These damages can include medical expenses, lost income, funeral or burial expenses, mental anguish, loss of support, and loss of benefits. Expenses that surviving family members incur because of the negligent action of the at-fault party are a potential source for compensation. A skilled attorney can successfully prove negligence in wrongful death claims.
Seeking Compensation through a Survival Course of Action
This legal recourse allows surviving family members to be compensated for the deceased person’s losses before the death. The California Code of Civil Procedure 377.30 authorizes survival actions. Unlike a wrongful death lawsuit, it doesn’t compensate surviving family members for their losses. Instead, it allows the estate of the deceased to sue for losses the decedent suffered because of another party’s wrongful act before they passed away. Damages that can be recovered in this action include medical bills, personal property damage, and lost wages.
Importance of Having Legal Representation
Wrongful death claims and survival actions are both complex processes. Insurance providers will always want to pay less than what claimants deserve to protect their bottom line. Such an outcome will never be in the best interest of the surviving family. But, by having an attorney on their side, they can have a better chance at getting fair compensation. Their attorney can handle the legal matters to support them during this tough time.
A great car accident lawyer is prepared to review their client’s situation and discuss their possible legal options in a free consultation. Without a legal representative, it is easy for surviving family members to get tricked into accepting a lowball settlement offer from an insurance company.