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What can surviving family members do after a fatal car accident?

Coping with the loss of a loved one is never easy, especially when that death was preventable. However, in addition to dealing with the emotional pain of your loss, you may experience financial challenges.

However, New Jersey is a no-fault state when it comes to car accidents. This means that no matter who causes the car accident, your personal insurance pays for medical and other expenses. Therefore, these are actions you should take if you lose a loved one in a car accident.

Review your loved one’s insurance policy

You need to know what the deceased’s insurance policy says about personal injury protection, including medical bill limits. Medical insurance may also cover some bills. Also, investigate the claims policy, including how long you have to file the claim.

Investigate a wrongful death  or survival action

You should also determine whether you have a legal right to fight for compensation. In most cases, the spouse and children have the legal right to file a lawsuit. However, anyone who depends on the deceased may have legal rights.

Find out if the other driver’s negligence caused the accident. Also, research the statute of limitations, which is typically within two years of the accident or the death of your loved one. Then, determine what damages you intend to seek, from medical and funeral expenses to loss of income and household support.

Gather evidence

For both your claim and a lawsuit you may file, you will need evidence. Therefore, gather the accident report, medical and funeral bills and any other documents from the incident. Also, if you can, get witness statements and photos of the scene.

For the best outcome, learn as much as you can about the accident and your loved one and do not accept a quick settlement offer from the insurance company.


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