Have you lost a loved one in a decapitation accident? If so, an experienced car accident and wrongful death attorney can help you demand justice for your loved one and compensation for what your family has suffered. Contact the team at Casper, Meadows, Schwartz, & Cook for a free consultation, and let’s discuss your options together.

Causes of Decapitation Accidents

Car accidents involving extreme forces and specific conditions can lead to decapitation incidents. The five crash types most likely to lead to these catastrophic injuries are:

  1. High-Speed Collisions – Accidents involving high speeds can generate immense forces. The rapid deceleration from an impact can cause a severe case of whiplash, leading to a decapitation.
  2. Vehicle Rollovers – Rollover accidents can violently toss the occupants of a vehicle around. These accidents are more common with larger vehicles, like SUVs or trucks. Rollovers are especially likely to end in a decapitation if the roof collapses or the seatbelt fails.
  3. Side-Impact Collisions – T-bone collisions can put intense pressure on the side of a vehicle, which may lead to structural failures that thrust bent metal and sharp debris into the passenger cabin, with potentially deadly results.
  4. Defective Products – Inherently unsafe vehicle parts can cause accidents and contribute to injuries. While seatbelts, airbags, and other safety features are supposed to lessen injuries, they can also cause injuries when defective.
  5. Underride Collisions – An underride collision occurs when a smaller vehicle goes beneath a larger one. They often occur when a passenger vehicle gets in a side-impact collision with a semi-truck. Underride collisions can shear off the top of the smaller vehicle.

Liability in a Decapitation Accident

When a car accident ends in fatal injuries like a decapitation, it’s vital to determine which party or parties are responsible so that surviving family members can obtain justice. Parties that may be liable in a decapitation crash include:

  • Negligent Drivers – Drivers who speed, violate right-of-way laws, or engage in other dangerous behaviors may be liable for the injuries they cause. If their actions are willful and show a disregard for the safety of others, they may also have to pay punitive damages.
  • Vehicle Manufacturers – Defects in part design, manufacturing, or marketing can open a manufacturer to liability. California’s strict liability laws may come into play if a faulty part caused or worsened the accident.
  • Trucking Companies – In the event of an underride collision, the trucking company may be liable if the truck did not have proper underride guards installed. The company may also be liable if it employed the driver that caused the accident.
  • Government Entities – If the accident leading to decapitation resulted from poorly maintained roads, signage, or other infrastructure, the government responsible for installing and maintaining these elements could be liable.

The Next Steps for Your Claim

Here’s what you can do in the aftermath of a decapitation car accident to pursue accountability and justice on your loved one’s behalf:

  1. Consult an Attorney – Severe car accident claims can be complex, so having an attorney who knows the ins and outs of the legal system can be a huge help in pursuing fair compensation. After a decapitation accident, look for an attorney with experience in catastrophic injury and wrongful death litigation.
  2. Investigate the Accident – Your attorney will conduct a thorough investigation into the crash. This investigation will gather evidence, analyze it through crash reconstruction methods, and ultimately determine the cause and who is to blame.
  3. File Your Claim – Your attorney can file the wrongful death claim against the liable parties to demand fair compensation for funeral expenses, loss of income and support, and loss of inheritance.
  4. Negotiate for a Settlement – Most successful lawsuits settle out of court, often during negotiations. If you accept the settlement terms, this phase may be where your claim ends.
  5. Go to Trial – If you cannot settle with the other parties, your case may go to trial. At trial, your attorney will present your case, including all the evidence they gathered, and will ask the court to rule in your favor.

Compensation for Families

Families that have lost loved ones in fatal accidents seek compensation to alleviate some of the financial burden felt by the loss as well as to hold the at-fault party accountable for what they’ve done. Depending on the circumstances, you could recover:

  • Economic Damages – These are the tangible losses associated with the wrongful death. Medical bills, funeral expenses, loss of future earnings, and loss of benefits all count as economic damages.
  • Non-Economic Damages – These are the losses that don’t have explicit costs yet are no less real than other losses. Pain and suffering, loss of companionship, emotional distress, and loss of a parental figure are non-economic damages.
  • Punitive Damages – The courts may impose punitive damages if especially egregious actions lead to death. The intent of these damages is punishment and to deter similar behavior in the future.

Contact Our Walnut Creek Decapitation Accident Lawyer

A decapitation accident is a catastrophic event that leaves a profound impact on you and your family. If a loved one died as a result of another driver’s negligent actions or a defective product, contact the Walnut Creek, CA, law office of Casper, Meadows, Schwartz, & Cook. Our team of attorneys and legal professionals is ready to help you seek maximum compensation in your wrongful death suit.