Every time you ride in a motor vehicle, whether you drive or ride as a passenger, there is some risk of winding up in a crash that could leave you hurt or even kill you. Most people tend to suppress concern about the risks associated with driving for the convenience associated with motor vehicle transportation. Sadly, there are some people who will wind up paying a steep price for that convenience.
Motor vehicle collisions can and do claim the lives of tens of thousands of Americans every year. Many times, fatal collisions are preventable with proper attention and safe driving practices on the part of everyone on the road. Sometimes, such as scenarios involving defective vehicle components, extreme weather conditions or even defects in the road itself, neither driver in a collision is truly at fault.
Other times, one driver does something negligent and impacts the lives of everyone else in the crash. You may wonder what is the real difference between a tragic accident and a wrongful death scenario. The behavior of the drivers involved directly impacts whether a crash fatality is an actionable wrongful death or not.
Neglect or defaults are common factors in wrongful death cases
Driving on public roads is a privilege, not a right. Unfortunately, many people treat it as an entitlement and not with the respect it deserves. These individuals may drive in unsafe or dangerous manners. Neglecting the duty to others on the road is one way that a driver can incur liability for a crash.
Defaults in a driving sense could include a failure to perform or even failure to maintain a vehicle. There is a fine line between negligence and default in many traffic scenarios. However, if it is obvious that one driver made mistakes or failed to take action at the wheel in a fatal crash, that could be grounds for a wrongful death suit.
Wrongful acts can play a role in wrongful death suits as well
Negligence or default usually doesn't involve intent. The person driving simply isn't thinking about their responsibility to others. However, wrongful acts typically involve a conscious decision to break rules or laws. If someone dies in a crash caused by the wrongful act of another, their family can file a wrongful death lawsuit.
A wrongful act could range from behavior such as drinking and driving to fleeing police in an unsafe manner. If the individual winds up charged with a crime related to the crash, chances are good that the crime provides grounds for a wrongful death suit.
Sitting down to speak with a North Carolina personal injury attorney about the details of the case can help you make a more informed decision about your options.