Car accidents happen everyday in the blink of an eye. It is especially tragic when multiple people lose their lives in a single fatal car accident.
Three people are dead and six others injured when a minivan collided with a commercial van on a California road. The minivan, which was carrying eight people, was traveling northbound. For reasons not yet known, the driver of the minivan suddenly braked and turned into the opposite lane of traffic, where it struck the commercial van head-on. Three of the passengers of the minivan died. The remaining five occupants of the minivan, as well as the driver of the commercial van, were hospitalized with major injuries. Only two of the occupants of the minivan were wearing safety belts. The accident is still under investigation.
When someone loses a loved one in a fatal accident, they may turn to the courts for some sort of compensation for their devastating loss. A wrongful death lawsuit may be one way for the deceased's loved ones to recover for funeral expenses and medical expenses, as well as loss of support. The exact amount of damages recoverable will take into account the victim's age, health and earning capacity. However, a victim's loved one's may also choose to pursue a survival action in addition to a wrongful death lawsuit.
Like a wrongful death suit, a survival action is brought by the personal representative of the decedent's estate, with the victim's loved ones serving as distributees. Unlike a wrongful death suit, a survival action compensates for the victim's pain and suffering. To do so, a jury will consider the extent to which the victim was conscious of the pain, the severity of the pain, and whether the victim knew they were going to die.
Wrongful death suits combined with survival actions are two ways for family members to receive compensation when their loved one is killed in a fatal car wreck. Doing so may provide them with the financial resources necessary to recoup expenses and recover from the tragedy.
Source: CBS Los Angeles, "3 Dead, 6 Injured In Redlands Head-On Crash," Jan. 17, 2013