When a loved one is severely injured or killed in a tragic accident caused by a reckless or impaired driver, the last thing on your mind is probably the availability of insurance to cover the costs of the accident. However, understanding your options for settlement can be crucial in getting the help and support you need to move forward. In this article, we will explore the different types of insurance that may be available to cover the costs of a fatal accident involving reckless or impaired driving and the type of compensation the family may receive.
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Who’s Responsible For The Compensating The Victim and the Family
When a fatal accident occurs, several types of insurance may be available to cover the costs. The primary source of compensation in cases like this is typically the at-fault driver’s liability insurance. This type of insurance is required by law in most states, and it is designed to cover the costs of accidents caused by the policyholder. Nevertheless, in some cases, the at-fault driver may not have enough liability insurance to cover the full cost of the accident, or they may not have insurance at all.
If this is the case, other types of insurance may be available to cover the costs of the accident. Most times, the victim or the family will have to seek compensation from the victim’s insurance company which is often referred to as Uninsured Motorist (UIM) coverage. This type of coverage is enforced in most states in the country. It requires the victim’s insurance company to cover the damages and the injuries caused by the accident. It’s important to note that the coverage you’ll get from UIM will be equivalent to your standard liability coverage.
To make it clearer, if your standard liability coverage is $100,000, your uninsured motorist (UIM) coverage cannot exceed $100,000. This means if the damages caused by accident are more than what your standard liability insurance coverage can handle, the UIM coverage you’ll get will only cover the damages that it can handle. It’s therefore advisable for car owners as well as everyone else, to have substantial standard insurance coverage, which can be used as uninsured motorist (UIM) coverage.
However, if you live in a no-fault car insurance state, the situation will be completely different. In most cases, the compensation for the accident will not be dependent on whether or not the at-fault driver has insurance coverage because the law of the state requires the insurance company of the victim to cover the cost of the damages. But if the victim passed away or sustained serious injuries due to the accident, you might be able to file a lawsuit against the reckless driver. The lawsuit can only work if the driver is insured; if the driver isn’t, the victim’s insurance coverage will be used to cover the damages.
Types Of Compensation Available For Family Members of The Victims After A Fatal Accident
Though no amount of money can heal or fill the void caused when a loved one is killed in an accident, the compensation can help the family overcome the financial challenges that could result from the loss. Here are some of the compensation that may be available to family members of a victim in a fatal accident include:
Wrongful death compensation
This type of compensation is issued to compensate the family for the loss of the victim’s financial support as well as for the loss of their emotional support and companionship. It is typically awarded to the victim’s immediate family members, such as a spouse, children, or parents.
Upon the passing of the victim of the fatal accident, there’ll be funeral arrangements. The compensation for funeral expenses is given to the family of the victim for the payment of the victim’s funeral and burial expenses
If the victim survived the accident but sustained mild, moderate, or severe injuries, the victim is entitled to compensation to cover the medical expenses incurred due to the accident. This can include expenses for emergency treatment, hospitalization, and rehabilitation.
Loss of consortium
If the victim has a spouse, the surviving spouse may be entitled to compensation for the loss of their partner’s love, companionship, and support.
Take note that the specific types of compensation available and the amount that can be awarded will vary depending on the circumstances of the accident and the laws of the state where the accident occurred. Hence, your lawyer is best positioned to enlighten you about the available insurance for a fatal accident.