4 Things To Know If Your Spouse Is Killed In A Car Accident Due To Negligence
Losing a spouse in a car accident is a traumatic, painful event. It can feel even worse if the accident happened due to negligence on the part of someone else and could have been avoided. If your spouse was killed in a car accident that was caused by someone else, you can file a wrongful death lawsuit. Use the following information to learn more about filing this type of lawsuit:
Hire an Experienced Lawyer
Wrongful death lawsuits can be very complicated, so it is essential that you hire an experienced lawyer who specializes in these types of cases. A good lawyer will be able to collect evidence to prove that negligence occurred and caused the accident that led to your spouse's death. It is in your best interest to hire a lawyer as soon as possible after the accident occurs—do not speak to anyone from the other driver's insurance company without having a lawyer, and don't make any decisions without legal counsel.
Provide Proof of Relationship
In order to file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of your spouse, you will most likely have to prove that you have the right to do so. In most cases, you will be asked to provide a copy of your marriage certificate to prove that you were legally married at the time the accident occurred.
Show Loss of Income
The amount awarded in a wrongful death lawsuit often considers the long-term financial loss that your family will experience after your spouse's death. This can be especially important if you have minor children that will need to be supported financially until they become adults. You may need to submit copies of tax returns or the most current paycheck stubs that you have available to show your spouse's income at the time of his or her death.
Don't Confuse a Criminal Case with a Civil Case
If your spouse was killed in a car accident by a driver who was breaking the law behind the wheel, such as a drunk driver or someone speeding recklessly, criminal charges may be brought forth against him or her. The case will go to court to determine his or her guilt and punishment if he or she is convicted, but you will not be awarded a settlement through a criminal case. A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil matter, and your case will be totally separate from the criminal case. Contact a lawyer from a firm like Fitzsimmons & Vervaecke Law Firm for more information.