Speed, the angle of impact, and the type of accident all contribute to the deadly nature of auto crashes. Fatal accidents leave a wake of suffering, anger, and confusion in their paths. Unfortunately, most fatal accidents are not true “accidents.” They are preventable collisions caused by someone’s negligence. In these cases, the surviving family members need a sympathetic and knowledgeable Springfield wrongful death attorney to help them hold the negligent parties accountable.
At Douglas, Haun & Heidemann, PC, we cannot undo the devastating harm caused, but we can fight for the fair compensation and justice that a victim’s family deserves.
What Causes Fatal Accidents
Fatal accidents often involve acts of extreme negligence. A minor rear ending is not likely to cause fatalities, but a high-speed head-on collision may. Every accident is different, and similar scenarios may lead to a fatality in one incident, but not in another. For these reasons, every accident victim should seek legal advice to learn more about his or her rights to compensation.
Common causes of fatal accidents include:
- One-vehicle rollovers
- High rates of speed for one or both vehicles
- Drunk, drugged, or fatigued driving
- Distracted driving
- Medical malpractice involving prescription medications
- Automotive defects
Fatal accidents include accidents that result in immediate death and those that cause life-threatening injuries. If your loved one died as a result of injuries inflicted in a fatal accident, the justice system affords you the right to pursue legal action against the person or parties responsible. Injuries associated with fatal accidents include:
- Lacerations resulting in significant blood loss
- Brain and spinal cord injuries
- Blunt force trauma that causes internal bleeding
- Severe burns
A careful investigation will uncover the facts of a case and any contributing negligent acts. After a fatal car accident, family members have the right to pursue a wrongful death action against anyone responsible for the death.
Wrongful Death in Missouri
Wrongful death claims allow surviving family members to secure damages after intentional or careless acts of wrongdoing. Under the law, survivors who may bring forth a wrongful death claim include the spouses, children, grandchildren, parents, and siblings. A personal representative for the deceased individual’s estate may also file a wrongful death claim.
Losing a loved one is emotionally tragic, but it can also cause serious financial strain. A wrongful death claim can help families cover:
- Medical care that an injured individual received related to a fatal injury or illness
- The funeral and burial costs
- Lost wages that an individual might have earned in life
- Pain and suffering
- The loss of companionship, support, and guidance
- Punitive damages to punish the defendant in cases of extreme negligence.
Family members have three years from the time of death to file a wrongful death claim against the person responsible. Depending on the circumstances of the case, we may have the opportunity to file additional claims to maximize the compensation you receive after suffering the loss of a loved one.
Finding the Right Fatal Accident Attorney in Springfield
Accident attorneys commonly suffer under a misconception that personal injury cases are built on greed. This idea could not be further from the truth. After the death of a loved one, you may have extraordinary expenses that only compound your grief. Holding the responsible person accountable is the least we can do to help families overcome one of the most trying times in life.
In addition to fatal auto accidents, the team at Douglas, Haun & Heidemann, PC, also handles other fatal accidents that arise from workplace accidents, unsafe properties, and intentional acts of violence. If your loved one has died at the hands of another, you need someone on your side to help you achieve the best possible outcome. For more information about our legal services in fatal accident cases, reach out to our Springfield office.