What Happens After a Fatal Car Accident? What You Need to Know

Car crash from car accident on the road in a city between saloon versus pickup wait insurance.

Each day, an average of 3,700 people die from car accidents. This adds up to about 1.35 million deaths each year. 

Nobody plans to take part in a fatal car accident, but it happens, which is why it’s important to know how to handle a situation like that in order to maintain composure and follow the proper procedure. 

Keep reading to learn what you need to know after a fatal car crash.


On the road, somebody must always take the blame for an accident. When a fatality occurs,  a living party must assume liability so that the family of the victim can go after compensation.

Who takes responsibility depends on both direct and indirect actions that led to the crash.

Driving Faults

Often, the fault will fall onto another driver. The driver could have been in the same car or another vehicle involved in the crash.

Some things that may put you at fault as a driver include:

  • Speeding
  • Reckless driving
  • Disobeying traffic signs or lights
  • Fatigued driving
  • Using a cell phone
  • Drinking or using other drugs
  • Failure to use your lights or turn signals

Depending on what caused the accident, you may face involuntary manslaughter or more serious criminal charges.

Vehicle Failure

Mechanical failures that result in car accident injury or death may fall onto the manufacturer or a faulty mechanic. But, if you did not keep your vehicle up to standards, then the fault may fall on you.


If a person dies in a drunk-driving accident, the liability may fall on somebody outside of the accident. If a bartender overserved the person, then they might take the blame along with the venue. 

Who Pays?

When loved ones sue for a fatality, they can sometimes receive millions of dollars in compensation. Where does this money come from? Typically the insurance company will payout for wrongful death suits as well as the damage. 

What Happens Next?

The minutes, hours, and days following any car crash can feel like w whirlwind. Knowing what to expect may help you navigate the experience.

Stay at the scene. Getting scared and leaving after a fatal accident can lead to much bigger charges down the road. Call 911 and wait for help to arrive.

Seek medical attention. This will document your injuries and also prove that you did not drive intoxicated or that maybe something beyond your control caused a lapse in judgment.

Contact a lawyer. Even if you did everything right, you will need a lawyer to protect your innocence in this case.

They will help you avoid legal charges and huge lawsuits. A good lawyer may even prove your right to compensation for what happened to you.

If you did something wrong, the lawyer will help minimize the action against you. You might get arrested, face civil and criminal charges, and see your insurance premium skyrocket.

Avoid a Car Accident Altogether

The best way to protect yourself physically, financially, and legally is to avoid getting into a car accident. Take a defensive driving course and always stay vigilant on the road.

Though this helps, you cannot control other drivers, so protect yourself with a lawyer.

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