Actions To Take If Collision Has Caused A Death

After an accident, people get injured. Some accidents lead to fatalities. The death could be immediate, or following a wait for emergency services. There are two types of fatal accidents – sudden death and eventual death.

Actions to take at scene of collision

• Check for evidence
• Try to locate a witness
• Contact 911
• Contact a personal injury lawyer in Oakville

Considerations made by lawyer

Should client submit a wrongful death claim?

—Was client a close family member?
—What was statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death lawsuit in the jurisdiction where the collision took place? Since the cause of death was apparent, the timeline to follow would have started at the time of the collision.
—-Did evidence suggest that a governmental agency might function in role of defendant? If so, did the lawyer have time for filing a wrongful death lawsuit? The rules about the start of the timeline would be the same; it would start at the time of the collision. Yet the timeline would end in only 1 year, if a governmental agency were the defendant.

What was the responsible driver’s driving history?
What were the responsible driver’s driving habits?

—Did he or she make a habit of drinking an alcoholic beverage before sitting behind the steering wheel?
—Did he or she make a habit of speeding?
—Had that same driver been issued any tickets?
—Did the driver/car owner keep the responsible vehicle in good condition?

Had the responsible vehicle recently undergone changes, as the result of actions made by a mechanic? A “yes” answer would suggest that the same vehicle had a faulty part, or an improper connection. In that case, an attorney would need to discover how many people knew about that same part/connection.

Possible charges against responsible driver

Vehicular manslaughter
Voluntary manslaughter
Murder

Lawyers examine the nature of the driver’s past activities, before selecting the charge to place on the responsible driver.

—Had the driver intended to harm someone?
—Had the driver demonstrated concern for others?
—Had the driver attempted to stop?

What facts would an attorney not have to go searching for?

After a fatal accident, one in which the cause of death is apparent, a plaintiff’s lawyer would not need to learn when the misconduct that had caused the collision and death had taken place. The legal system would not require details on a lawyer’s discovery of such misconduct.

An attorney retained by someone that lost a loved one in a fatal accident would not need to find out if the same decedent had filed a personal injury claim before his or her death. The decedent would have had no time to file such a claim. Consequently, any possible wrongful death lawsuit, as brought by a close family member, could not be time-barred.

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