What To Do When A Wrongful Death Claim Involves A Vehicle?

Posted on: 4 January 2021


Some vehicle accidents occur under bad circumstances, and claimants require wrongful death attorney services. Even if you're familiar with the basics of wrongful death law, it's a good idea to know the key aspects of how it overlaps with the work of an auto accident attorney. Here are several things wrongful death claimants should do in the aftermath of a car accident.

Find Your Insurance Policy

Even if you're sure the incident was the other driver's fault, dig out your insurance policy. Make a copy of it, and then ask an automobile accident attorney to review it.

A lawyer will want to have a close look at how the policy handles two things. First, they will want to see if it offers compensation in catastrophic accidents over and above whatever the other motorist's policy might give. Second, they'll want to see what the underinsured and uninsured driver provisions are.

Particularly in states where no-fault insurance is the norm, a company may try to settle cases quickly and within the state-designed system. This means the two insurance companies for the two vehicles will try to resolve the matter between themselves. Eventually, they may offer you a settlement amount they deem fit, but that doesn't mean it will be a fair deal.

Avoid Accepting a Settlement

Until you've had the opportunity to consult with an auto accident attorney, limit your settlement conversations to the basics. Ask the insurance adjuster to provide you with the offer in writing so you can review it.

Refrain from discussing the details of the incident with them unless you have counsel present and listening in on the conversation, too. Your goal is just to get any number they might offer so you and your lawyer can think about it. Politely say good-bye if they press the issue.

Documenting the Case

Most wrongful death claims resulting from car accidents are built on documents. Given there was an auto accident, there will also be at least one police report. First responders may also provide reports. Likewise, your doctors can provide medical reports. You also can ask for compensation for outstanding medical bills from efforts to treat the deceased.

Similarly, your lawyer will document the economic loss of the deceased. This covers things like lost wages and future earning potential. Spouses can seek compensation for loss of companionship and consortium, too.

A wrongful death services provider will assemble all of these details into a demand package. This is an official notice to the insurance company and the defendant that you expect compensation. It also will explain how much you deserve