Can I File a Wrongful Death Claim if I’ve Lost a Loved One in a Car Crash?

Losing a loved one by any means is a terrible experience but losing someone you love in a preventable accident is gut-wrenching. When losing someone you love, your initial thoughts are not of damages and expenses, your thoughts are of how you will never see your loved one again. However, after the dust settles, issues of medical bills and lost wages will become important to you and your family. If you’ve lost someone you love at the hands of a negligent driver, you could be entitled to recover damages in a wrongful death lawsuit.

What is a Wrongful Death Claim?

Like a personal injury lawsuit, wrongful death claims are civil suits to recover damages. The primary difference in these two types of cases involves the party filing the lawsuit. In a personal injury case, the injured party is also the party filing the claim. In a wrongful death lawsuit, the person involved in the accident died from their injuries, so their loved ones are left to file on behalf of the victim in the case. Most wrongful death cases in the state come from motor vehicle crashes, but wrongful death suits can stem from most types of personal injury cases.

Requirements for Filing a Wrongful Death Claim

In New Hampshire, wrongful death lawsuits are protected by statute § 556.19, and the law allows anyone with a legal connection to a victim’s estate to file a wrongful death claim. To file a wrongful death lawsuit, the plaintiff must file their claim before the statute of limitations expires. In New Hampshire, wrongful death cases filed after three years of the date of the victim’s death. In addition to meeting filing deadlines, the plaintiff must also prove liability.

The court will consider damages such as:

  • Pain and suffering caused by the wrongful death
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Loss of financial support
  • Emotional distress caused by the wrongful death
  • Punitive damages

Have You Lost a Loved One Due to Third-Party Negligence?

Winning a wrongful death cause requires complex strategy, investigation, and a keen understanding of civil statutory and procedural rules. The sooner you contact an attorney to begin building your case the stronger your claim can become before you present your case in court. If you’ve lost someone you loved in an avoidable car crash caused by a negligent driver, contact the dedicated attorneys at Douglas, Leonard & Garvey, P.C. Our knowledgeable attorneys will fight for you as you seek justice in the wrongful death of your loved one. Contact our legal team at (603) 288-1403 to schedule a consultation with one of our wrongful death lawyers. Call (603) 288-1403 or by visiting our website to speak with our team today.
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