There are few experiences more heartbreaking than the wrongful death of a loved one. The frustration, shock, and sadness often overwhelm those left behind. In this difficult time, filing an insurance claim seems like an additional burden, but taking action and maximizing the financial compensation you deserve is important. This article explains the steps involved in filing an insurance claim for wrongful death, from understanding the process to negotiating the final settlement.
Understanding Wrongful Death Claims
The first step in filing an insurance claim for wrongful death is to understand the legalities of this type of claim. Wrongful death claims are civil lawsuits brought against the person or entity responsible for the death, in order to seek financial compensation for the decedent's surviving family.
In legal terms, the plaintiff would be the surviving family and the defendant is anyone deemed responsible for the death. When filing an insurance claim for wrongful death, it's necessary to demonstrate that the defendant's negligence or wrongful act caused the death and the subsequent damages. Losses can include present and future financial contributions, the deceased person's grief-related pain, and their medical expenses.
Preparing for the Filing Process
Once you understand the legalities of wrongful death claims, the next step is to prepare for the actual filing process. This includes gathering all of the necessary documents and making sure you are organized in order to present a strong case. It's also important to consult a personal injury lawyer for guidance and to help you through the process. The documents you need to gather for the filing process include:
- Death certificate
- Accident report
- Medical records
- Financial records
- Statements and affidavits from witnesses and experts
- A list of damages you are seeking
In addition to these documents, you should be prepared to answer questions about the deceased's life, earnings, and medical history.
Submitting Your Insurance Claim
Once you have gathered all the necessary documents and organized your case, it's time to submit your insurance claim. The exact process and requirements will depend on the insurance policy and the insurance company. Typically, you will need to fill out a claim form, attach your documents, and provide additional information about the death. It's important to be accurate and thorough in this process and follow the instructions provided by the insurance company.
No amount of financial compensation can make up for the loss of a loved one, but it can be a necessary part of the process of healing. Following the steps outlined above will help you maximize the financial compensation you deserve, allowing you to focus on your grief and the healing process. Filing an insurance claim for wrongful death is complicated, but with the right guidance and organization, you can get through the process and get the financial help you need.
Negotiating the Final Settlement
Once the insurance company receives your claim, they will review the documents and the information provided. They may contact you for more information or clarification. Once the review is complete, the company will decide if you are eligible for a settlement and will contact you with an offer.
At this point, you can either accept or negotiate the final settlement. Negotiating the settlement is a good idea if you feel you're entitled to more than what is offered. In this case, it's best to have your lawyer talk to the insurance company and present a convincing argument. Your lawyer can also review the offer to ensure you get a fair and just settlement.