Motor vehicle crashes do not always result in deaths. However, when death is a result of a traffic crash, it is important to examine the circumstances surrounding the accident to determine whether negligence was a factor in the crash and resulting fatality.

If someone dies in a traffic crash through no fault of their own, her or his family may be able to seek compensation. In North Carolina, traffic fatalities have been on the rise in recent years.

Traffic deaths on the rise in North Carolina

A study by the National Safety Council noted that motor vehicle crash deaths in 2016 were up 11 percent compared to two years prior. The study showed that although North Carolina is the ninth most populous state in the country, in 2016, it ranked fifth in the country for motor vehicle crash fatalities. The study cited various reasons for the fatalities, including distracted driving such as texting while driving. Distracted drivers not only cause serious injuries in motor vehicle accidents, but death sometimes also results.

Circumstances surrounding wrongful death

A number of factors can contribute to a wrongful death case. For example, in a motor vehicle fatality, negligence by the other driver may be a consideration. If alcohol or drugs impaired the other driver and that factor led to the crash, these factors can play a role in a wrongful death lawsuit. 

Wrongful death claims help family members recover expenses related to the death. These expenses include things like the cost of the funeral, medical expenses and hospital bills. Another area where compensation is often sought is that of lost income due to what the loved one would have made in the future had he or she not died.

If your family member died in a motor vehicle crash and you believe negligence was a factor in the crash, you should investigate your options from a legal standpoint. If there is a wrongful death case based on the circumstances at hand, it is your right as a family member to seek compensation to cover expenses you incur as a result of the death. While nothing can ever bring back your loved one, the law protects your right to seek relief in terms of financial burdens related to the death.