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How do I handle the insurance company after a fatal motor crash?

On Behalf of | Apr 7, 2023 | Fatal Crashes, Fatal Motor Vehicle Accidents, Personal Injury, Wrongful Death |

If you have lost a loved one in a fatal motor vehicle accident, you face not only grief and emotional pain, but also financial challenges and legal issues. You may be entitled to compensation for your losses, but dealing with insurance companies can be frustrating and overwhelming.

In this blog post, we will provide some information and tips on how to handle insurance claims after a fatal motor vehicle accident.

Common causes

According to the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, there were 546 fatal crashes and 597 fatalities in Washington in 2020. The most common contributing factors to these crashes were varied.

Impaired driving (alcohol, drugs or both) accounted for 36% of fatal crashes. Speeding accounted for 30% of fatal crashes. Distracted driving (cell phone use, eating, etc.) accounted for 14% of fatal crashes. Not wearing a seat belt accounted for 22% of fatalities, and motorcycle riders not wearing a helmet accounted for 63% of fatalities.

Less common causes

These were not all the causes of fatal crashes. Other factors that may cause or contribute to fatal motor vehicle accidents include driver fatigue, road conditions, weather conditions, vehicle defects, medical emergencies and animal crossings.

Washington wrongful death claims

A wrongful death claim is a civil lawsuit that seeks compensation for the losses suffered by the surviving family members of a person who died due to the negligence or wrongful act of another party.

In Washington, a wrongful death claim can be filed on behalf of the deceased person’s estate and its beneficiaries. The spouse or registered domestic partner of the deceased person can file, as can the children or stepchildren of the deceased person and the parents or siblings of the deceased person, if they were dependent on the deceased person for support.

Recoverable damages

The damages that can be recovered in a wrongful death claim after a fatal motor vehicle accident includes a variety of items. First are medical expenses incurred by the deceased person before death. Next is funeral and burial expenses, followed by the loss of income and earning capacity of the deceased person and the loss of care, companionship, guidance and support of the deceased person.