Across the state in a small town approximately 40 miles from Pittsburgh, a western Pennsylvania man was killed in an apparent wrong-way crash. Sadly, there is not a tremendous amount of information surrounding the crash and police are currently waiting for lab results. It does appear, however, that the driver who was killed was hit by a 23-year-old driving in the wrong lane.
As more information is uncovered, however, the 37-year-old man's family may wish to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Although some people may criticize wrongful death lawsuits as a cheap way to turn a profit from the loss of a loved one, this is a horrifically inaccurate portrayal. These lawsuits provide a lot for families and compensation is only one part.
Many family members file the lawsuits because they give them a sense of justice. Their loved ones were taken from them because of someone else's negligence or irresponsibility and they want someone to be held responsible. Moreover, the information that comes out at a trial can provide closure to families struggling to come to terms with a loved one's death.
And, of course, wrongful death lawsuits do often provide family members with financial compensation. The purpose of the compensation, however, is not to enrich the family, but to offset the numerous costs associated with a fatal crash. Say that the family member that was killed was the only person in the family who was employed. The compensation could cover the wages that the individual would have otherwise earned for his or her family.
While wrongful death lawsuits don't bring family members back, they can help families adjust to the tragic loss of a loved one.
Source: Observer Reporter, "Fatal crash closes Pa. highway for six hours," Nov. 3, 2013