In Pursuit of Justice: How to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit After a Car Collision


Tragedy strikes unexpectedly, often leaving devastation in its wake. Losing a loved one in a fatal car collision is heartbreaking, intensified by the injustice that often accompanies such tragedies. After profound loss, grieving families navigate a complex legal landscape, seeking accountability and closure in the aftermath.

The pursuit of justice after a wrongful death is arduous and fraught with emotional turmoil and legal complexities. Navigating the legal process is crucial for families seeking recourse and accountability for their loved one’s untimely passing. Understanding these intricacies is paramount to navigating the journey toward closure and accountability.

In this article, we provide a comprehensive guide for individuals and families navigating wrongful death lawsuits after car collisions.

Understanding Wrongful Death Laws

In 2022, around 42,795 individuals lost their lives in motor vehicle crashes in the US, as per NHTSA. A significant portion of fatalities involved negligence or recklessness, highlighting the prevalence of wrongful death claims stemming from car collisions. Understanding the nuances of wrongful death laws is essential for families seeking justice and accountability in the aftermath of such tragedies.

In such situations, wrongful death laws offer a pathway toward seeking justice and holding responsible parties accountable.

State-level laws enable lawsuits for deceased individuals whose deaths stemmed from another party’s negligence, intentional act, or breach of duty. These laws aim to compensate surviving family members for economic and emotional losses resulting from the death. They serve as a means of redress and support in times of profound loss.

A wrongful death claim hinges on three key elements:

  • The death must be caused by another party, indicating direct responsibility.
  • The responsible party must have demonstrated negligence or wrongdoing, breaching their duty of care.
  • Surviving family members must have incurred damages, whether financial or emotional, due to the untimely death.

Gathering Evidence and Documentation

Gathering comprehensive evidence and documentation is crucial when pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit after a car collision. The process entails gathering police reports, medical records, eyewitness testimonies, and photographs of the accident scene. These documents and evidence substantiate claims of negligence or recklessness in the wrongful death lawsuit.

In addition, engaging accident reconstruction experts and forensic specialists may be vital to reconstructing the events preceding the collision accurately. These professionals offer crucial insights into variables like vehicle speeds, road conditions, and driver conduct, bolstering the liability case with valuable evidence and analysis. Their expertise enhances the thoroughness and credibility of the investigation.

Also, preserving any physical evidence, such as damaged vehicles or roadway debris, is essential for corroborating the circumstances surrounding the accident.

Identifying Responsible Parties

Determining the parties responsible for a fatal car collision is a crucial aspect of building a strong wrongful death case. Besides the at-fault driver, other liable parties might encompass vehicle manufacturers, government entities overseeing road maintenance, and establishments serving alcohol to impaired drivers. These entities could share responsibility for the accident, warranting investigation and potential inclusion in the wrongful death lawsuit.

The First Alert 4 reported on February 11, 2024, that one person tragically lost their life following a collision in north St. Louis County. The incident occurred shortly before 1:30 p.m. at the intersection of New Halls Ferry Road and New Castle Drive. The Missouri State Highway Patrol reported involvement of two cars, with Gary E. Bozeman, 71, identified as the deceased. The authorities pronounced him dead at the scene following the incident.

In such instances that involve wrongful death, specialized local personal injury lawyers conduct exhaustive investigations to pinpoint all liable parties. St. Louis, personal injury lawyers can meticulously scrutinize accident circumstances, study pertinent statutes and legal precedents, and collaborate with experts to determine comprehensive accountability. Their thorough approach ensures that all avenues for justice are pursued on behalf of the bereaved families.

TorHoerman Law underscores the importance of choosing an attorney with experience, dedication, and familiarity with the St. Louis legal system. Attorneys must be transparent about payment structure, legal fees, experience, firm resources, and litigation records when considering representation. Choosing the right attorney is a crucial decision that requires careful consideration.

Filing the Lawsuit

Filing a wrongful death lawsuit after a car collision marks a critical juncture in the pursuit of justice for grieving families. This pivotal step involves initiating legal proceedings against the parties deemed responsible for the untimely death of their loved one. Working closely with experienced attorneys specializing in wrongful death cases, families navigate the complexities of the legal system with determination and resolve.

Before filing the lawsuit, meticulous preparation of necessary documentation, evidence, and procedural requirements is imperative. Drafting the initial complaint and serving legal notice to defendants demand careful attention to detail and adherence to statutory deadlines. Each aspect of the filing process contributes to the case’s strength and legitimacy.

According to Forbes, the duration of settling a wrongful death case can vary significantly. Some cases settle quickly within a few months, while others extend over years due to thorough investigation and evidence-gathering processes. Plaintiffs should ensure a comprehensive understanding of the incident and liability before considering any settlement offers.

Navigating the Legal Process

After initiation, legal proceedings unfold through intricate steps, each presenting unique challenges and considerations for the involved parties. Discovery serves as a cornerstone of the legal process, allowing both parties to exchange information, gather evidence, and depose witnesses. Attorneys meticulously review documents, analyze expert testimony, and engage in negotiations to reach a potential settlement.

If a settlement proves elusive, the case proceeds to trial, where evidence is presented, arguments are made, and liability is determined. Families rely on legal counsel for guidance, advocacy, and unwavering support during this challenging legal journey. They navigate the legal system in pursuit of justice and closure for their loved one’s untimely passing with legal counsel.

Trial and Resolution

During the trial, both sides present evidence and expert testimony to determine liability and award damages. Every aspect, from the accident’s circumstances to the surviving family’s damages, undergoes rigorous examination. The lawsuit’s resolution can vary, from negotiated settlements to judgments by the judge or jury. The trial’s outcome offers closure and vindication for the aggrieved parties.

However, very few wrongful death cases reach the trial phase. Pew Research Center notes trials are infrequent in the US federal criminal justice system, with acquittals being even scarcer. The resolution, whether through trial or settlement, mirrors the families’ arduous pursuit of justice and accountability after a devastating loss.

Seeking Justice Amidst Tragedy

Filing a wrongful death lawsuit after a car collision is challenging and rooted in principles of accountability, justice, and remembrance. As the legal process unfolds, justice seeks accountability and redress, honoring the memory of those lost too soon. It embodies a quest for accountability, redress, and prevention of future tragedies, transcending mere compensation in the process.

In the face of adversity, the pursuit of justice becomes a beacon of hope amidst grief’s darkness. Families, united and resolute, honor their loved ones and seek rightful justice. Through solace and closure, they anticipate a brighter tomorrow.