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Utah Fatal Car Accident Lawyer

The loss of a loved one is one of the most catastrophic experiences a person may go through in life. Knowing that the death was caused by the reckless or negligent actions of someone else can make the loss even more difficult to bear. Unfortunately, this is all too common. According to the Utah Department of Health, 1 person is killed in a car crash in the state every 33 hours. 

In the days following a fatal car accident, you may realize you don’t have the funds necessary to cover funeral or burial costs. You may wonder how you’re going to support yourself and your family financially without your loved one’s income. These are damages you may be able to recover by means of a wrongful death claim or lawsuit.

If you have suffered the loss of a loved one in a fatal Utah car accident, don’t hesitate to contact the legal team at Fielding Law today. Our compassionate fatal car accident attorneys can help you recover the compensation you need and deserve. Call us 24/7 or fill out the online form to schedule your free case consultation. 

Leading Causes of Utah Fatal Car Accidents

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), motor vehicle collisions are a leading cause of death in the United States for people aged between 1 and 54. Fatalities could involve drivers, passengers, motorcyclists, pedestrians, or others. 

The following are some of the leading causes of fatal car accidents:

  • Distracted driving: This is the leading cause of fatal car accidents. A distracted driver may be texting, talking on the phone, programming the GPS, adjusting the radio, or performing other tasks while behind the wheel. A shocking 18 percent of people killed by distracted drivers were not even in a vehicle; they were pedestrians or bicyclists.
  • Speeding: Driving faster than the posted speed limit or too fast for road conditions is the top cause of car accidents. Speeding and overdriving road conditions increase the time a driver needs to stop after a perceived danger and increase the likelihood that he or she will lose control of the vehicle. 
  • Driving under the influence: Drunk driving is not only dangerous – it’s a crime punishable by law. In Utah, it is illegal to drive if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is .05 or higher. A drunk driver may have impaired vision, reaction time, judgment, concentration, and reasoning ability. 
  • Swerving into the other lane: Head-on collisions often result in serious injuries and fatalities. Many of these accidents occur when a vehicle veers or swerves into an oncoming lane of traffic. A driver may fail to stay in his or her lane because of distracted or drowsy driving, driving under the influence, a medical condition, or swerving to avoid an object in the road, among other reasons. 
  • Inclement weather: Heavy rain, ice, and snow can create slippery and dangerous road conditions. Either fog or haze with bright sun can greatly reduce a driver’s visibility. A motorist should always reduce speed and increase following distance when driving in poor weather or road conditions. 

Statute of Limitations on Wrongful Death Claims in Utah

If a person suffers physical injuries in a car accident due to someone else’s negligence, he or she can file a personal injury claim and pursue compensation for accident-related losses. On the other hand, if the victim dies in the car crash, then a wrongful death claim can be filed on behalf of the family. 

A wrongful death claim could be considered an injury claim filed on behalf of the person who is deceased. Just as there’s a statute of limitations on filing personal injury claims, wrongful death claims must be filed within an allotted period of time. 

The statute of limitations in Utah establishes that a wrongful death claim must be filed within 2 years from the date of the deceased’s death. If the lawsuit is being filed against a government agency, then the statute of limitations is 1 year. 

Who is Able to File a Wrongful Death Claim in Utah?

If your loved one was killed in a Utah car accident, a personal injury lawyer from Fielding Law may be able to help you file a wrongful death lawsuit. Utah allows the deceased person’s heirs or the personal representative of the estate to file a wrongful death suit. 

Utah Code section 78B-3-105 lists the following as legal “heirs” who are allowed to file a wrongful lawsuit:

  • The surviving spouse
  • The surviving adult children
  • The surviving parents (including adoptive parents)
  • The surviving stepchildren if they are under 18 years of age when the death occurs and financially dependent on the deceased
  • Other blood relatives, per the inherited laws in Utah

Why Hire a Utah Fatal Car Accident Attorney

If you’re considering taking legal action after losing your loved one in a motor vehicle collision, it’s important to have a personal injury lawyer on your side who you can trust. Our compassionate legal team knows what is needed to build a solid wrongful death case on behalf of you and your surviving family members. 

In order for your car crash claim to be successful, your lawyer will have to prove the following four elements:

  • The negligent party had a duty of care to act in a responsible and reasonable manner – For example, a driver has a responsibility to obey all traffic laws and not engage in reckless conduct while behind the wheel 
  • The negligent party violated that duty of care by acting negligently – For example, the driver was texting while driving, or under the influence of alcohol 
  • The defendant’s violation of the duty of care was the direct cause of the death of your family member – This is typically the most difficult element to prove
  • The losses suffered as a result of your loved one’s death – Your lawyer will present evidence of medical bills, burial expenses, and other accident-related damages

The personal injury lawyers at Fielding Law are familiar with Utah state laws regarding wrongful death cases and can explain how these will affect your case. Contact our law firm today to schedule a free case consultation. 

Recoverable Damages in a Utah Fatal Car Accident Claim

The unexpected loss of a loved one can take a devastating emotional and financial toll on a family. A wrongful death claim can reimburse a family for various existing and future losses. 

Damages that a judge or jury may award in a wrongful death claim include:

  • Burial costs and funeral arrangements
  • Medical expenses from the deceased party’s car accident injuries
  • Financial earnings or employment benefits the deceased would have contributed to the family
  • The loss of gifts or inheritance family members would have received from the deceased
  • Pain and suffering endured by surviving family members
  • Punitive damages

It may seem harder to get the full amount your family requires in the case of runaway or uninsured motorists, but Fielding Law has your back. We will stop at nothing to pursue all avenues of compensation so you get what you need.

Contact Our Utah Fatal Car Accident Lawyers Today

Have you suffered the loss of a family member in a fatal Utah car accident? If so, don’t hesitate to contact the lawyers at Fielding Law, especially if insurance companies or at-fault parties are trying to blame your deceased loved one. We will work diligently to minimize his or her role in the car accident and maximize the compensation you recover. 

Our law firm is here to help you fight to get every dollar your family deserves. All personal injury and wrongful death claims are taken on a contingency fee basis, which means that you pay nothing out-of-pocket. We only get paid if you are awarded a case settlement. 

Schedule your free consultation with an experienced member of our legal team today. We can answer any questions you have about your legal rights and determine whether you have a right to receive compensation. Fielding Law represents clients in Salt Lake City and throughout the state of Utah. Call 877-880-4090 or fill out our online case evaluation form.

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