my cousin was driving. i was the passenger suspect ran stop sign and t boned my cousin killing him and i have emotional problem (fear of driving, depression, nightmares etc)
cousin was 18 just graduated highschool no dependants children or spuse. do i have any case against the driver.
on what grounds a claim is given for wrongful death, suspect insurance is 1 million. my cousin insurance u/i 500k. what are the order of steps and how long it takes.
I am very sorry for your loss. You have your own claim against the driver for your injuries, any physical injuries and also for mental injuries/suffering from the incident. Your cousin's family (parents) also have a wrongful death claim against the driver. You should speak to some personal injury/wrongful death lawyers immediately to preserve your rights. Most personal injury lawyers would handle this case on a contingency basis (a percentage basis) where you only pay lawyers fees when a settlement or verdict is reached, so you wouldn't have to pay out of pocket to hire a lawyer. Many lawyers offer free consultations and you should speak with some regarding your case.
I am so sorry for your loss. You're going to want to hire a local attorney immediately. Look at a wide variety of law firms. Don't necessarily base your choice off of this website. Shop around and find a lawyer who is right for you and will work for you. Best of luck.
I am sorry to hear about this tragic accident. As the other attorneys have stated, you should contact a lawyer immediately for your physical and emotional injury claim. Your cousin's parents should also seek counsel for the wrongful death claim. You should look on Avvo for a local qualified personal injury attorney who is member of CAALA (Consumer Attorney Association of Los Angeles) and who has handled these types of cases before.
Lederer & Nojima, LLP
12100 Wilshire Blvd. #480
LA CA 90025
To answer your question, the grounds for the wrongful death claim is that the at-fault driver was negligent when operating his vehicle and caused the head-on collision. You absolutely can sue for this, and I cannot stress enough how important it is that you discuss your case with a lawyer right away. With a personal injury lawyer by your side, you stand to earn significantly more from a settlement and can properly take your case to trial if necessary.
You obviously have a claim you can bring for your own injuries. However your claim regarding your cousin consists of four elements 1) Someone negligently caused the death of someone. 2) That you were at the scene of the accident and actually was aware of the injury. 3) That you suffered severe emotional distress because of the incident. 4) That the conduct of the other driver was a substantial in causing your emotional distress. I just settled a wrongful death case this week, but your case is not wrongful death but rather negligent infliction of emotional distress brought by a bystander.
Sorry to hear about what you have been experiencing. You have a case against the defendant driver. It will be for your own damages, and not based on wrongful death (these legal technical issues can be explored and explained further through the attorney you hire to represent you. Get one right away. Do not delay another minute. The cousin's insurance will not come into play, unless the cousin was partially at fault, but it doesn't sound that way. We would be happy to answer any further questions you may have. Finalizing the case can take from months to years, depending on your emotional and physical status and treatment, as well as the progress available in the courts and with the defendant insurance company.
Sorry for your loss. You have a direct claim you can bring. You do not have to worry about bringing a bystander claim - you were in the car and suffered your own physical and emotional injuries. You should hire a local lawyer to represent you for your injuries and damages.
Most of us will offer a free consultation so you need not worry about calling to find the lawyer you feel comfortable hiring.
The driver AND the passenger in a car that is an accident through no fault of said driver may both have a claim for any injuries suffered (the family of such a driver who dies may have a claim for wrongful death). In an accident serious enough to cause driver fatality, it is all but a given that there was enough impact to cause substantial physical harm to any passengers... thus, adding emotional trauma damages to the passengers claim might be adding to an already substantial recovery. Should one find oneself a victim of such a horrific crash, one should immediately get medical attention and then legal attention.
Fortunately, many of us personal injury attorney types offer free consultations and take cases on contingency. Thus, there is nothing to fear when calling.
Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D.
Attorney at Law, Physician, Broker
Fransen & Molinaro, LLP
4160 Temescal Canyon Road, Suite 306
Corona, CA 92833
www.fransenandmolinaro.com / www.888MDJDLAW.com
"When you need a lawyer, call the Doctor... Call Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D... Call (888)MDJDLAW."
* This post and all others I make on Internet are for informational purposes only. None of the information or materials I post are legal advice. Nothing I post as comments, answers, or other communications should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing of this information does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. While I try to be accurate, I do not guarantee accuracy.
** Fransen & Molinaro, LLP practices in the areas of personal injury, medical malpractice, and real estate law and does so anywhere in the State of California.
I fully agree with everyone here that says you need to get an attorney as soon as possible. There are insurance issues, issues of whether the defendant has additional coverage and possible other assets. It is critical that your and your cousin's case is investigated immediately. You should probably talk to a firm like Greene Broillet & Wheeler. I have no business affiliation with that firm.
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