Fatal Accidents In Washington DC
The NHTSA reported that in 2017, there were over 37,000 vehicle traffic fatalities. Unfortunately, accidents remain a leading cause of death for people throughout the country. All drivers and others sharing the road, including bicyclists and pedestrians, are at risk of suffering fatalities in a vehicle crash. When someone close to you has been fatally injured in an accident that was not their fault, you may pursue a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault driver. Washington, D.C. accident attorney Roger Gelb has extensive experience securing compensation for loved ones following a wrongful death due to the negligence of others. Recognized as one of the leading personal injury attorneys in the area, Roger Gelb has secured multi-million dollar recoveries on behalf of his clients.
In the course of settling thousands of wrongful death claims, Attorney Gelb has worked to help numerous dependents secure financial compensation for their losses. Due to Mr. Gelb’s extensive experience handling accident claims. He is ready to advance strong legal theories to establish fault for a fatal collision. All clients interact directly with Attorney Gelb. This distinguishes us from other firms where paralegals or legal assistants provide the majority of communication. The legal team at Gelb & Gelb, P.C. is ready to tenaciously and effectively advocate for your rights after a fatal accident.
Recovering Compensation for Losses After a Fatal Accident
Fatal accidents take many forms, from head-on collisions to drunk driving crashes. Unfortunately, victims that suffer deadly injuries in accidents often leave behind family and other loved ones. In some situations, the decedent is the primary wage-earner, and surviving family must confront tragic emotional and financial losses.
After the negligence of a driver leads to a fatal accident, family members may make a claim for damages. According to law, when an accident that caused a death was the kind that could have formed the basis of a personal injury action, it meets the requirement of a wrongful death lawsuit. Unlike in a personal injury claim, the injured victim cannot bring the lawsuit and others must assert their legal rights for damages associated with the death.
Wrongful Death Lawsuits
Wrongful death lawsuits in Washington, D.C, include both a wrongful death action and a survival action. Unique laws separate these lawsuits from other jurisdictions, including Maryland and Virginia. The victim’s surviving family typically brings wrongful death lawsuits.
A personal representative for the decedent files a wrongful death claim on behalf of the surviving spouse or domestic partner of the decedent. Damages that are awardable, a court will distribute according to the decedent’s will. If there is no will, then damages are given to the estate, which will distribute the damages accordingly.
Following a fatal accident, the types of damages that are recoverable are up to a judge or jury. Economic damages include funeral and burial costs as well as medical bills such as emergency care. Damages can also include lost wages and benefits that the deceased would have earned had they reached retirement. In some situations, the judge or jury may award surviving family damages for “loss of services.” These refer to domestic work such as chores and yard work. These are chores the decedent would have done over the course of his or her life. Additionally, if the at-fault driver acts with malice, there may be punitive damages available.
Wrongful death lawsuits must be filed within a certain period of time in order for the court to hear the claims. These procedural rules are important. The court will bar your claim if it is not brought within two years from the date of death. An experienced attorney will ensure that your claims are filed in a timely manner.
Survival actions, which are separate from wrongful death claims, are appropriate if the deceased did not die immediately after the accident. The intent of a survival action is to compensate the victim for the suffering they endured before their death. In most cases, medical testimony will be necessary to prove that the decedent survived after the accident. You should make clear if the victim sustains “conscious pain and suffering”. Then, you must meet the legal requirement that the suffering took place “within a reasonable degree of medical certainty.”
In Washington, D.C, a representative of the deceased’s estate brings a survival action claim. These claims include the damages directly suffered by the victim. In other words, economic damages include the wages and benefits the victim would have earned had they lived their expected lifetime. Recovery is also available for conscious pain and suffering you endure due to your accident. Discuss Your Legal Claim with an Accident Attorney in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C. lawyer Roger Gelb provides compassionate representation as he advocates for compensation following the death of a loved one. Mr. Gelb is knowledgable in laws governing recovery of damages following a fatal accident. At Gelb & Gelb, we strive to maximize compensation. This allows surviving family members to remain financially stable during a devastating time. We are available to discuss the details of your case. You can reach us by calling (202) 331-7227 or online, through our form. We proudly represent individuals and families throughout Washington, D.C.