Copyright © 2021 Charles E. Boyk Law Offices, LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduced with Permission.
Surviving heirs of a loved one need to speak with a legal representative, especially if you suspect that the cause of death was related to another driver’s negligence. Fatal car accidents in Bowling Green are an unfortunate part of our reality, but that does not mean that you cannot hold negligent drivers accountable for causing the death of someone precious. Working with an attorney could be the first step toward compensation.
A car accident in Bowling Green can become a wrongful death case when the individual eventually passes away. Importantly, the passing of a victim does not have to be immediate for surviving heirs to pursue a wrongful death claim. There could be instances where death happens later. What the surviving heirs really would have to prove comes typically from the autopsy and most of the autopsies end up explaining and reaching a verdict of what the proximate cause of the death is. For example, if the proximate cause of the death was the underlying car accident of specific date, that is what they would have to prove in order to bring the wrongful death case even if the individual died three months or nine months later.
Fact patterns in wrongful death cases in Bowling Green include being hit head-on by a drunk driver, rear-end accidents, running red lights, trying to pass and running into another car.
So, for example, one fact pattern would be is there’s a stop sign, the car has a stop sign, the other individual who eventually is killed does not have a stop sign and has the right of way. The one car does not stop at the stop sign and goes to the stop sign and runs into the car with the right of way and the person with the right of way dies. Another fact pattern could be that a drunk driver goes left to the center or crosses the center line, and head-on hits another car, and the person on the other car is killed as a result of the drunk driver’s actions.
If it is found that the at-fault driver was behaving illegally, the case may evolve from wrongful death to another kind of case. The typical situation would be to prove reckless conduct by the responsible driver and that the reckless conduct caused the death. If plaintiffs show the recklessness, they may sue for punitive damages. Punitive damages would be damages that would be awarded by a judge or a jury to punish the wrongful driver. For example, if the wrongful driver was going 100 miles an hour in a 50 mile an hour speed zone, that would be considered reckless conduct. If the reckless driver was under the influence of alcohol or various legal or illegal drugs, that would potentially result in punitive damages. If the person leaves the scene of a hit and run, that potentially could be reckless conduct and they could sue for punitive damages. While typically victims seek economic and noneconomic losses in their cases, they could still seek punitive if applicable, however, these damages are rare for a jury to award.
Fatal car accidents in Bowling Green leave the surviving heirs of a victim grasping for answers. If you recently lost a loved one because of a car accident, or if you suspect that the loss of a loved one recently was caused by a previous car accident, you need to speak with an attorney. Legal professionals with car accident and wrongful death case experience could help you obtain the compensation you need for your loss.
Charles E. Boyk Law Offices, LLC