Car accidents are something that can’t always be prevented. This is of very little consolation when you lose a loved one in a fatal car crash. If you find out that the car crash was actually due to another driver’s actions or inaction, you might be ready to do something about your loved one’s death.

One option that some people have in these cases is filing a wrongful death claim. This is a claim that might help you recover some of the financial damages you are facing because of your loved one’s untimely death.

In order to file a wrongful death claim, you must have suffered a personal financial loss because of the crash. A spouse could file a wrongful death claim if he or she lost his or her spouse. A claim might be filed on behalf of children who lose a parent. A parent who loses a child might file a claim. Typically, the family member with the closest relationship to the decedent is the one who files.

Another thing to remember is that the decedent’s estate has to have a personal representative in order for a wrongful death claim to be filed. The personal representative is the person who files the actual claim on behalf of the estate.

These claims require that recklessness, intentional actions or negligence caused the accident. For example, a car crash caused by a drunk driver or a distracted driver could lead to a wrongful death claim. If you lost a loved one in a car crash, make sure that you consider all of the financial impacts so that you can take appropriate action.

Source: FindLaw, “Wrongful Death in a Car Accident,” accessed June 30, 2017