Learning that your loved one died in a
car accident is extremely devastating. Such news is completely unanticipated and overwhelmingly
upsetting. Unexpected deaths also carry financial damages that the family
of the deceased must account for.
In most car accident cases, victims are able to look to insurance —
either their own policy or the other drivers — to pay for the resulting
damages. Sadly, the families of fatal car accident victims are often faced
with costs that are far more expensive than their auto insurance policy
allows for. A car insurance policy may cover medical bills and property
damages, and it is possible that death benefits are included in your plan.
A life insurance policy may be available as well. However, the insurance
benefits available to you may not cover the cost of a funeral or the financial
impact of losing a provider. Insurance will not compensate for any non-economic,
emotional damages either. If you are facing a situation such as this,
there are other ways you can recover compensation in the event of a fatal
Car Accidents and Wrongful Death
When a car accident is fatal, the legal proceedings resemble a
wrongful death case more than a typical car accident claim. Although New York is a no-fault
state, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the person or party that
is responsible for your loved one’s death. The no-fault principle
applies to car accidents, but this would not apply if an accident is fatal
and the lawsuit is for wrongful death.
In the state of New York, wrongful death claims can only be filed by an
appointed representative of the deceased person’s estate. This may
be a person who is related to the deceased person, but could be a non-relative
such as an attorney.
Through a wrongful death claim, the family of a person who died in a car
accident can recover compensation for medical bills, funeral expenses,
and loss of resources caused by the death, in addition to non-economic
damages. Non-economic damages may include pain and suffering and other
emotional effects, as well as punitive damages which serve as a consequence
of the other driver’s negligence.
We offer our condolences if you have recently lost a loved one in a car
accident. If you would like legal guidance during this time, Gruenberg
Kelly Della is available to answer your questions and address your concerns.
If you are interested in speaking with our legal team,
send us a message or call 888.305.6372 for a free consultation with our lawyers.