Honolulu Fatal Car Accident Lawyer
An average of 90 people lose their lives in fatal car accidents in Hawaii annually. When the cause is someone else’s negligence, surviving relatives have the right to claim compensation for the financial and emotional damage they suffered as a result.
We can help filing a wrongful death claim in Hawaii. Contact us to learn how a Honolulu car accident lawyer can help you build your case.
How a Fatal Car Accident Lawyer Can Help
In the aftermath of a fatal car accident, the surviving family and anyone injured can face the devastating physical, financial and psychological repercussions of another party’s carelessness. Hiring legal representation removes the heaviest burdens associated with the legal process and allows them to focus on healing.
If you suffered injuries or lost someone in a fatal accident, consider the specific ways hiring an attorney can help you:
- They investigate the accident and find the evidence necessary to prove your claim.
- They represent you in all conversations and negotiations with the insurance company, allowing you to avoid any combativeness.
- They can identify and value your losses based on their experience with similar cases.
- They complete all administrative requirements, including filing paperwork and drafting your demand letter.
- They can often access experts, such as a mental health professional or accident reconstruction specialist, who can help validate your claim.
Car accident and wrongful death claims can be complex. However, an experienced fatal car accident lawyer at our firm is capable of overcoming the challenges to your claim. We can offer services at no upfront charge, only accepting payment if they secure a settlement or award.
Most Common Causes of Fatal Car Accidents in Hawaii
The first step in your attorney’s investigation is to determine the cause of the accident and identify who is responsible. The leading causes of fatal accidents include:
- Distracted driving: Visual distractions divert the driver’s eyes from the road. Manual distractions remove the driver’s hands from the wheel, and cognitive distractions take the mind off driving.
- Speeding: Speed limits exist to ensure drivers have sufficient time to stop and monitor their surroundings. Excessive speeding increases the force of a collision and the risk of severe or fatal injuries.
- Driving under the influence: Blood alcohol concentration can cause loss of judgment, self-control, motor function and muscle control, all of which impact the ability to operate a vehicle.
- Reckless or aggressive driving: Road rage is the most common form of aggressive driving. It can result in improper passing, tailgating, racing, failing yield and speeding.
- Failing to obey traffic signals: Running red lights and stop signs are leading causes of collisions at intersections.
Sometimes fault is apparent, while other times it requires more in-depth investigation. Either way, it is critical to form a strong claim for compensation. As the person filing a claim, you must prove the defendant’s negligence more than likely caused your losses. A fatal car accident lawyer knows what you need to build a solid case.
Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against the Other Driver
Proving negligence and damages for a wrongful death case means presenting evidence to support the three elements of a negligence claim: duty of care, breach of duty and causation. Everyone on the road has a duty to drive with caution and obey traffic laws. Any violation of traffic laws would constitute a breach of duty, but to prove negligence, you must connect that breach to the accident that caused the fatal injury.
Parties eligible to file a wrongful death claim
Hawaii’s wrongful death laws explicitly state who can file a wrongful death claim on behalf of a loved one. Those eligible include the deceased person’s surviving spouse or reciprocal beneficiary. Next in line would be the children or parents of the deceased and then anyone who qualified as a financial dependent at the time of death.
If you have concerns about whether you are eligible to file a wrongful death claim, a wrongful death lawyer can help you understand your rights. Most importantly, once you file, they help you identify recoverable damages.
Recoverable Damages Available in a Wrongful Death Claim
Wrongful death claims fall under Hawaii’s personal injury civil law. Anyone liable for the death or harm of another person is also responsible for paying for the damages they caused. Every case is unique. However, there are economic and non-economic damages common in most wrongful death claims.
Economic damages refer to the financial losses associated with your claim. Common examples from a wrongful death claim include:
- The cost of medical care provided to your loved one before they passed
- The lost income your loved one provided for your household
- The loss of inheritance if you were a beneficiary of their estate
- The loss of benefits, including contributions to retirement plans and health insurance
- The cost of funeral and burial expenses
An integral part of your attorney’s job is to gather the necessary evidence to prove these losses.
Non-economic damages refer to immense emotional damage that stems from a fatal car accident:
- Loss of companionship, consortium or protection
- Loss of the love and society you received
- Loss of advice and counsel
- The physical pain and suffering your loved one endured before their death
Valuing these damages is more complex than valuing economic damages. Because they have no inherent monetary value, you must assign reasonable value to them in your demands. Your attorney may use different methods to ensure you receive fair value for these losses, even though no compensation can replace a loved one.
When To Contact a Honolulu Fatal Car Accident Lawyer
If you lost a loved one in a car accident in Honolulu, a local, experienced fatal car accident lawyer can help you understand your right to compensation. At Recovery Law Center, our experienced attorneys are here to listen, discuss and find a solution to help you grieve the loss of your loved one without the added financial strain.