What If a Family Member Dies in a Car Accident?
First, let me express my sincere condolences for the loss of your loved one. Second, when you lose a loved one – a husband, wife, daughter, son, father, mother, sister or brother – in a car accident it is important that you immediately get a good injury lawyer to represent you.
The truth is only when you get a good injury lawyer to represent you for the loss of your loved on in a car accident (what is called in injury law a “wrongful death”) will you get fair financial compensation for you and your family. Period. Get my FREE Accident Book.
If you do not get a good injury lawyer to represent you the insurance company or companies involved in your case will, sadly, take advantage of you and your tragedy – right at the time of your grief by offering you much less money than you should get. It is wrong. However, it does happen often. So, please don’t let that happen to you and your family; get a good injury lawyer to help.
Third, when there is an accidental death in a car wreck, a wrongful death, those types of cases are different and somewhat more involved than a serious car accident case. To give a basic understanding of the process, when a person dies there is automatically, by operation of law, an “estate” created. It is the estate of the “decedent” (the person who died in the car accident) that, with the help of a good injury lawer, actually brings the wrongful death claim.
To bring a wrongful death claim there needs to be a person properly appointed by the court to be the personal representative (if there was no Will; or the “Executor” if there was a Will) of the estate. The court is petitioned on behalf of my client that he/she is appointed to represent the decedent’s estate and, once appointed, bring a wrongful death claim from the car accident.
All money paid by any life insurance policy or paid by any car insurance policy (both of the person that caused the accident and your own car insurance policy, as well as any additional “umbrella” insurance coverage, are all included in the estate. Further, all other assets (money, house, land, vehicles, other valuables, etc.) are included in the estate.
All of the money and other assets of the estate will be properly divided among the living relatives of the decedent, depending on whether or not the decedent had a Will and/or Trust or not. If the decedent had a valid Will and/or Trust at the time of his/her death then the Will and/or Trust will instruct how all assets of the estate will be distributed among the relatives and friends of the decedent.
If the decedent did not have a valid Will and/or Trust at the time of their death, then the State of Utah has laws in place that will instruct how all the money and other assets of the decedent will be distributed.
Call me at 801-322-HURT (4878) to discuss your situation. I am happy to help.