On behalf of Berkshire Ginsberg, LLC posted on Friday, August 30, 2013.
Losing a loved one at the hands of a negligent driver, such as a distracted driver, is understandably shocking to family members. As difficult as this time may be, families should try to remember that they have legal options to protect their stability during this vulnerable time. A motorist recently slammed into another vehicle on the I-5 freeway, causing a fatal car accident. He reported to authorities that he had turned to look at a broken down vehicle on the side of the freeway and while he was distracted, he collided with the car in front of him. The 56-year old man, who lives in a Portland suburb, has since been arraigned on charges of aggravated driving while suspended and misdemeanor driving while suspended; the man’s driver’s license was indefinitely suspended in 2008. The driver of the vehicle that was struck died at the scene. The victim, a 52-year old man, died of massive chest trauma. Fatal motor vehicle accidents like this are devastating. Those who have lost a loved one will likely face practical challenges and can sometimes face unexpected costs. Wrongful death claims are available to surviving family members in these circumstances to help with medical costs, funeral expenses and pain and suffering damages family members will likely experience. Other types of damages may also available, depending on characteristics of the victim and the relationship the victim shared with the victims. For example, if the children of the lost loved one are bringing the claim, lost prospect of inheritance damages may be available. When a spouse brings a claim, loss of support and services damages may be available. In circumstances when the negligent driver has been charged or cited in relation to the accident, family members will likely be able to readily prove negligence which will allow for a recovery of damages. It is important for family members who have lost a loved one to the negligence of another to remember that the legal system seeks to protect family members of victims. To that end, a trained personal injury legal professional will be able to help a family evaluate damages and options to help ensure an appropriate recovery. Source: The Oregonian, “Motorist who caused fatal accident on I-5 said he was distracted by broken-down car, police say,” Maxine Bernstein, Aug. 13, 2013