Death due to a car accident is tragic both for the victim and the accused. If you get into a car accident and someone dies, you have some legal duty. Most importantly, there will be lawsuits against you.
So what to do if you get into a car accident and someone dies? Go through the following discussion to know what to do after a fatal car accident and the potential consequences.
5 Things to Do If You Get Into a Car Accident and Someone Dies
Every accident occurs differently. No matter how the accident occurred, the aftermath will stay the same.
As mentioned earlier, there are a few things you are supposed to perform. Without doing so, more acquisition will be charged against you. Below is a list you should complete after the accident happens.
1. Stop immediately
Once a collision takes place, you must stay at the scene. Otherwise, you’ll be charged for other acquisitions like a hit-and-run.
In a context like death in a car crash, you’ll already have a huge penalty, like serving jail time, compensation, fine, driving license suspension, and demerit points in your driving record. You will have more penalties if you don’t stop at the accident spot. Altogether, it won’t be pleasant in any possible way.
2. Call 911
Whether it’s a major or minor, you’re supposed to call 911 for the occurrence. Or you won’t know what to do in a circumstance like killing someone in a car accident. After calling 911, they will tell you what to do so you act accordingly. Initially, they will tell you to check in on the victim.
However, the following tasks usually are advised by 911. Either way, one would need to go through every step mentioned here.
3. Call the police
Generally, you must report an accident to the police. Otherwise, it will eventually get complex once the law enforcement authority notices it. That’s even more serious when it’s about downright death.
So, you must contact the police about the accident. Besides, if you don’t report to the police, there’re punishments for that as well. After that, your local law enforcement will handle the rest of the case, and you must follow the orders.
4. Consult a lawyer
Note that, in a car accident, you can always take help from a car accident lawyer. If you think you aren’t entirely blameworthy of the collision and not to mention death, consult a lawyer as soon as possible.
5. Take help from others
Before you start following any legal steps, you can ask for help from the pedestrian or call a family member/ friend.
What Happens If You Cause a Fatal Car Accident [the aftermath]
Killing someone in a collision is legally addressed as wrongful death. A fatal accident could occur because of the driver’s negligence or another person’s. Also, negligence can be intentional or unintentional.
Wrongful deaths are considered a civil crime instead of a criminal act. In a civil crime, people can claim compensation, whether financial or non-economic damage, like pain and suffering compensation claims.
Therefore, as a civil crime, you must pay compensation if you kill someone in a collision. But there could be other penalties depending on how complicated your case is.
But there are situations when you have criminal charges. Check the last section to know more about this.
Who can sue you for wrongful death?
You will find rules for wrongful death cases in every province of Canada. And the provincial law dictates–
- Who can ask for compensation for the deceased person?
- How are the claims assessed?
- How much compensation can one be awarded?
Here is the answer:
In most provinces, spouses, children, and parents are permitted to collect compensation for damages. In some provinces, grandchildren, grandparents, and siblings can obtain the settlement amount.
What kind of losses can you be accused of in a fatal accident?
It depends on the province you live in. Regardless, there are some common types of damages that you could be sued as below:
- Income loss
- Care, guidance, or companionship loss
- Unable to work again
- Travel expenses for the treatment
- Childcare or household service loss
- Hospital bills, treatment, and medication expenses
- Funeral and burial cost
How much is the compensation for a fatal car accident?
Several factors are considered while determining the amount of compensation for the losses, such as the relation of the person asking for the compensation with the deceased, the total circumstance of the accused and the claimant’s life.
In Alberta, the car accident settlement could be as low as $35,000 or as high as $82,000. Furthermore, one can be awarded the claim related to care, guidance, and companionship.
For such claims, the compensation is called bereavement awards. And you can claim the award without proof of losses or damages. This means the deceased’s family won’t have to prove their sorrow or distress for losing a member.
Also Read About: Depression Car Accident Settlement in Alberta
Can You Get Criminal Charges for Killing in a Car Crash?
When someone dies in a collision, you could have criminal charges. The criminal charges come under vehicle manslaughtering–an unintentional killing of someone. On the other hand, one could be at fault for an accident with criminal charges.
A couple of factors determine whether there are criminal or no criminal charges. The court will assess factors to figure out if you’re criminally guilty.
Chiefly, the following 2 factors act as the main indicators for receiving a criminal charge:
Driving under the influence (DUI)
Many people drive drunk or while they are drugged. This, most of the time, results in fatal accidents. You’ll be charged under the Criminal act for practicing risky driving like DUI.
Reckless driving or ignoring traffic law
Every driver must obey the traffic rules. If you don’t follow traffic rules such as road rage and speeding, and some innocent civilians die, you’ll go to jail for that.
N.B: Some factors are not in the driver’s control. In that case, you might not get a criminal prosecution. The factors could be sudden mechanical failure, “Act of God,” adverse road conditions, etc.
The latest Alberta Traffic Collision Statistics report has recorded 233 fatal accident cases. And the Canadian government has been working hard to reduce the rate.
Hopefully, after reading the blog, now you know what to do after getting in a car accident and what happens when someone dies due to a car accident.
Just remember that fleeing the scene is never going to save you. So, better you do what has been suggested in this article. Also, we suggest you look for an experienced lawyer to receive the right justice regarding your criminal charges and settlement amount.