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4 Steps to Take After a Fatal Car Accident: A Guide

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C.L. Mike Schmidt Published by C.L. Mike Schmidt
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Losing a loved one in a fatal car accident can be one of the most devastating experiences in life. During these emotionally challenging times, having the right guidance and support is essential to help you navigate the situation’s complexities.

As an experienced personal injury attorney, I will walk you through the essential steps on what to do after a fatal car accident, the different types of accidents, and what to expect if you have caused a fatal accident.

Quick Summary

  • Take steps to preserve evidence, contact authorities, and seek medical attention after a fatal car accident.
  • Crash evidence should be collected with respect for the deceased and their loved ones.
  • The different kinds of car accidents that can result in fatalities include head-on collisions, rear-end collisions, side-impact accidents, rollovers, multi-car crashes, and side-swipe accidents.

What To Do After A Fatal Car Accident?

A person being aided by medics after being in a fatal car accidentAfter a fatal car accident, there are four crucial actions to take: collecting evidence, getting help at the scene, contacting the police, and seeking medical attention.

Each step plays a vital role in ensuring that the accident is documented for the insurance claim process and that you receive the care and support you need during this challenging time.

During this difficult time, it’s essential to have the support of an experienced wrongful death law firm. They can guide you through understanding insurance policy coverage, obtaining a police report, and pursuing a wrongful death claim or lawsuit if necessary.

Collecting Car Crash Evidence

Gathering evidence at a fatal car accident scene is important, as it can quickly vanish. As you approach the crash scene, you must do so with care and respect for the deceased and their loved ones.

Take photos or draw sketches of the scene to document the accident while being mindful of the emotional impact the incident may have on others.

Get Help At The Scene Of A Fatal Auto Accident

A woman getting the help she need after being into fatal accident

In the aftermath of a fatal auto accident, getting help at the scene is essential. First and foremost, call emergency services, as they are equipped to handle such incidents and ensure the safety of everyone involved.

Contact Police

The role of the police in a fatal car accident cannot be underestimated. They handle the investigation and documentation of the accident, determining who caused it, speaking to witnesses, and collecting evidence.

Seek Medical Attention

Seeking medical treatment is crucial after a fatal car accident, even if your injuries are not immediately apparent.

Some injuries may not be visible, but they can still have a lasting impact on your well-being.

The type of medical attention required depends on the severity of the injuries sustained, including serious injuries.

What Is A Fatal Accident?

A wrecked car due to fatal accidentA fatal accident is an accident that results in the death of a person. This type of accident often involves a motor vehicle collision.

There are several types of fatal car accidents, such as head-on collisions, rear-end collisions, side-impact accidents, vehicle rollovers, multiple-vehicle collisions, and side-wipe accidents.

Common causes of these tragic accidents include speeding, impaired driving, distracted driving, and crossing lanes [1].

Fatal car wrecks can occur due to any of these factors, making it crucial for drivers to remain vigilant and cautious on the road, especially when multiple vehicles are involved.

Related Article: Road Rage and Road Traffic Accidents

“Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, speeding or racing, or failing to abide by other traffic laws can contribute to such an accident. When they do, the unsafe driver can be arrested on criminal charges.”
John Fitzpatrick, Personal Injury Attorney

What To Expect If You Have Caused A Fatal Accident?

A person in handcuffs after causing a fatal accident

If you have caused a fatal accident, you should expect to be facing civil liability in addition to criminal charges, and it’s important to understand your legal rights in this situation.

In the sections below, we’ll explore the role of a wrongful death lawyer, the process of initiating a wrongful death claim or lawsuit, and the importance of understanding insurance policy coverage from your insurance company.

Consult With A Wrongful Death Lawyer

A wrongful death lawyer can play a crucial role in helping you navigate the legal process after a fatal accident. They can carefully review the facts of the situation and guide whether any of your family members are eligible to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit.

Initiate A Wrongful Death Claim Or Lawsuit

Seeking help from a professional lawyerYou must contact a lawyer to initiate a wrongful death claim or lawsuit. They will submit the necessary documents to commence the civil lawsuit, typically starting with a complaint or petition.

Once the documents have been filed, the next step is to prepare the necessary evidence and documentation to demonstrate that a wrongful death has occurred.

The outcome of a claim or lawsuit can vary, but ultimately, the situation may be resolved through a wrongful death settlement or trial, with damages potentially being recovered.

Understand Insurance Policy Coverage

Understanding insurance policy coverage is crucial in the aftermath of a fatal car accident.

An insurance policy from your insurance company should cover any damages incurred from the accident, including medical bills, property damages, and death benefits [2]. 

The insurance company’s contact information and policy number should be included in the policy to facilitate communication [3].

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FAQs

How To Prevent A Deadly Car Wreck?

To prevent a deadly car wreck you must practice safe driving habits and be aware of the common accident causes. It’s essential to be aware of all traffic laws and signals, such as speed limits, stop signs, and yield signs. In addition, using headlights and turn signals when necessary can help ensure your safety and that of others on the road.

How Do You Deal With Witnessing A Fatal Car Accident?

You deal with witnessing a fatal car accident by stopping and calling 911, offering assistance, and providing your contact information and witness statement to those at the scene. 

It is important to seek the assistance of a qualified lawyer with experience in handling fatal car accidents. This will help you and your family obtain appropriate compensation and navigate the intricate legal proceedings.

At Schmidt & Clark, LLP our auto accident lawyers can ensure that those responsible are held accountable and that you are supported through the legal process.

By seeking experienced legal help after a fatal car accident, you can protect your rights and focus on healing during this challenging time.


References:

  1. https://jhtransport.gov.in/causes-of-road-accidents.html
  2. https://www.fsrao.ca/after-accident-understanding-claims-process
  3. https://insurance.utah.gov/consumer/auto-home/auto-insurance/third-party-auto-claim

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