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What are your options if you lose a loved one in a car crash?

On Behalf of | Sep 1, 2023 | Wrongful Death

Losing a loved one in a car crash is an incredibly difficult experience that can leave you feeling overwhelmed and unsure of what to do next.

During such a challenging time, it is important to be aware of the options available as you navigate through the aftermath.

Contact the authorities

Approximately 3,500 fatal crashes occur each year in California. Contacting the authorities after any car accident is important, but you will need law enforcement to properly document the scene. This documentation plays an important part in insurance settlements or legal matters arising from the accident and death.

The circumstances of the accident also influence what legal options are available to you. In the case of an accident where the other driver engaged in distracted, negligent or reckless activities and the end result was the death of your loved one, the policy may recommend criminal charges against the individual. Even if accidental, the conditions could lead to criminal prosecution of the other driver.

Deal with the insurance company

If you are not at fault for the accident, the other driver’s insurance bears responsibility for the accident and the loss of your loved one. California auto insurance laws require individuals to carry a minimum amount of bodily injury and death benefits. The at-fault party has the legal responsibility of paying for your loss and the expenses you incur now and in the future because of the loss.

Funds you can receive from the insurance company include burial and funeral costs, as well as lost income if the individual was the provider or head of household. The settlement options vary by situation, but this avenue requires civil court if the insurance company does not present you with a fair settlement.

The pain of losing a loved one in a car crash is indescribable. These options provide some compensation and a path for moving forward.