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Considering a wrongful death suit after a traffic accident

Losing a loved one in a traffic accident can be a devastating experience. It can take months or years for a family to recover emotionally, and the financial impact of this kind of loss could last a lifetime. When a family's primary wage earner gets killed in a fatal traffic accident, all kind of bad things can happen. The family loses out on wages and future income. They can also lose health insurance policies, which can add a crippling monthly expense to an already thin household budget. In some cases, the family could end up without the money to repair or replace the vehicle involved in the crash.

Many times, children and surviving spouses require counseling or therapy to process and deal with the grief that comes from losing a loved one unexpectedly. That can also represent a substantial expense. Many medical insurance policies only cover a few therapy sessions, or require that you pay out of pocket until your family deductible, which could be thousands of dollars, gets met. In cases where a driver was clearly at fault, negligent, distracted or chemically impaired, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit to recover your losses.

Wrongful death suits protect families

Most people find the idea of profiting off of the loss of a loved one distasteful. This can keep people from pursuing options like a wrongful death lawsuit. However, it's important to remember that these lawsuits exist to protect families.

If your family experiences financial hardship as a direct result of the loss of a family member, you may receive compensation for those losses. The first step to determining if this option is viable for your situation is to look over existing documentation. Does the accident report and autopsy from the accident make it clear that the accident was the cause of death?

Explore all of your options

Did law enforcement note that the other driver was clearly at fault? Maybe the driver was texting instead of focusing on the road or had taken drugs. Even prescription medication could impair the ability to drive. If the other driver was negligent or reckless, New York law allows you to hold him or her accountable. You should review your medical records, property damage records and income records to determine exactly how much the accident has cost your family and will continue to cost you for years to come. From funeral expenses to the cost of a new insurance policy, it all adds up.

Once you have determined the amount of your losses, you can file a wrongful death suit. You will need to substantiate your claims in court, from the amount you are seeking to the reason why. The right documentation can help make the process that much simpler for you. Your family shouldn't have to absorb the losses associated with a fatal traffic accident caused by someone else.

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Orin J. Cohen Law
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