Coping with the death of a loved one will always be difficult. There’s no way to describe the devastation people experience as they try to make sense of their loss. Such devastation can only increase tenfold when the circumstances involve an accident caused by another individual’s wrong doing. This happens often with car accidents. According to data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), 32,719 people died in fatal car crashes during 2013.

There are dozens of scenarios that could lead to a fatal car accident. Huge collisions can come from a slight oversight in the part of one driver. However, in most cases, these accidents are caused by recklessness and negligence. As the IIHS points out, alcohol plays a huge role in these kinds of situations. For 2013, 72 percent of drivers killed in car accidents were found to have a blood alcohol concentration level over what is legally mandated. In these scenarios, the family of the innocent victim is entitled by law to seek out justice and compensation.

The victim’s survivors, typically comprised of family and loved ones, can pursue a wrongful death claim or a lawsuit. According to the website of personal injury lawyers Schuler Halvorson Weisser Zoeller & Overbeck P.A., these legal avenues can allow survivors to receive compensation for medical treatment costs, funeral expenses, any loss of income that the victim could have earned for their family, as well as loss of companionship.

The court will reward compensation to those referred to by the law as “real parties in interest”. These are survivors who are part of the victim’s immediate family, distant family members, and financial dependents like a domestic partner. In some cases, the court might also reward anyone who is financially affected by the victim’s sudden death.

Dealing with death will always be difficult. However, the challenge of coping can increase in case of untimely and wrongful death. The family and loved ones left behind by the victim should not have to suffer any more than they already do. If you are in the same devastating situation, do not hesitate to consult with a personal injury attorney to learn more about your legal options.