Car Accidents Involving Deaths
The victim in a car accident
usually has the option of hiring an attorney to sue the responsible party. However, what happens when the injured person does not survive the accident? When the victim of an accident dies, their estate may sue to recover for the wrongful death.
More often than not, wrongful death cases related to car accidents are based on a theory of negligence. In order to succeed on a theory of negligence, the plaintiff, through their attorney, must prove the following four elements:
- that the defendant had duty not to engage in the sort of behavior that caused the death;
- that the defendant breached that duty;
- that it was foreseeable that defendants breach could result in the sort of injury the victim suffered, and
- that by breaching its duty, the defendant caused the victim's death.
Take a DUI that results in death for example. Applying the four elements
to a DUI negligence claim, the lawsuit would go as follows:
- the defendant had a duty to refrain from driving while intoxicated,
- by drinking and driving, the defendant breached the duty he or she had from drinking and driving,
- it is reasonably foreseeable that by drinking and driving, the defendant could get into an accident with another person, and
- defendant's decision to drink and drive caused the victim's death.
The plaintiff must prove each element of a negligence claim in order to prevail at trial. If one element fails, the whole case fails. This is why the presence of an experienced car accident litigator is essential. Attorneys who specialize in these types of cases have the distinct advantage of leveraging the experience from prior cases to ensure that they build each case on the foundation it needs to maximize the chances of success.
If a loved one has been a victim of a car accident, contact an experienced Illinois car accident attorney
who can go after those responsible.