Does Insurance Cover Wrongful Death?


April 21, 2020 / Wrongful Death

If someone you love has been killed in an auto crash, medical malpractice event, at-home accident or other tragic circumstances, you not only have to endure the shock and grief of their death, but you might also have to pay medical bills, funeral costs and other expenses.  If this is the case, you may be wondering, “does insurance cover wrongful death?”  If the death occurred as a result of another person’s or company’s negligence, then there’s a good chance that their car insurance, home insurance and other kinds of insurance may provide a financial payout.

There are many ways that a wrongful death can happen, and each case has its own unique set of facts.  Whether it’s a car crash on an interstate, death during a hospital surgery, or fatal injury due to a house fire caused by a defective furnace – each of these scenarios usually involves people or companies covered by insurance.  It’s a matter of understanding the law and knowing how to go after an insurance company to secure the financial compensation you’re entitled to.

The skilled wrongful death attorneys at Stephenson Rife have decades of experience successfully representing clients in wrongful death cases.  We know how to examine the evidence, interview witnesses, review legal statutes and build a powerful case on your behalf.  Attorney Mike Stephenson is a leader in the legal field when it comes to wrongful death cases, and he will work aggressively to secure the largest financial compensation possible.  To learn more about how our wrongful death attorneys can help, call us at 317-680-2501.

Will Car Insurance Cover Wrongful Death?

First, it’s important to understand the term “wrongful death.”  Wrongful death is a legal term that means an innocent person’s death was caused by the negligence or wrongful actions of another party — which can be a person, business, organization or government agency among others.  Indiana recognizes the rights of survivors to sue the responsible person, company and other entities so survivors can be compensated for the lost financial earnings, medical bills and other expenses resulting from the person’s death.  These cases are handled in civil court.

It is important to remember that the term “wrongful death” does not refer to cases in which a person was purposely killed by someone else.

As for the question, “will car insurance cover wrongful death?” — the answer is that car insurance often does cover wrongful death.  What’s key is being able to prove that the driver in the other vehicle was negligent or careless and that this led to the accident in which your loved one died.  Negligence can come in many forms in vehicle accidents, including drunk or distracted driving, failure to follow the rules of the road, driving a defective vehicle (manufacturers can be held liable here), road rage and a wide range of other negligent and careless behaviors.

Not only can survivors sue the other driver’s insurance company for damages, but where defective vehicles are involved, survivors may also be able to sue the vehicle manufacturer.  These types of cases often involve faulty brakes, flawed steering, airbags that inflate incorrectly, or a whole host of other electrical and mechanical problems.

Will Home Insurance Cover Wrongful Death?

If negligence can be established, then generally homeowners’ insurance will cover wrongful death under the liability section of the policy.  However, sometimes these policies contain detailed exclusions, and they also often have maximum payout amounts.  That’s why it’s important to name all parties that could potentially be held liable, which means that more than one person or company might be named as a defendant in your lawsuit.  For example, if your child goes to a neighbor’s house and is tragically killed when playing with a defective appliance or toy, then you could potentially ask for damages from both the neighbor’s homeowners’ insurance and the manufacturer of the appliance or toy.

Still, these cases can be complex, and the help of a wrongful death attorney can be invaluable.  You want to make sure that your claim is a strong one and does not fall under any of the policy exclusions.  To learn more about how a Indiana wrongful death lawyer can fight aggressively on your behalf, contact Stephenson Rife at 317-680-2501.  We have handled hundreds of these cases for clients, and we know how to win.

What Are the Types of Damages I Can Ask For?

Courts recognize several kinds of damages that you can ask for in a wrongful death case.  You may be able to ask for one or all of the following:

  • Medical bills incurred on behalf of the deceased before death
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Loss of financial support from wages and benefits the deceased would have earned over a lifetime
  • Loss of love, affection and care
  • Loss of services the deceased provided
  • Spousal loss of consortium
  • Loss of guidance and mentoring for deceased person’s biological and step-children
  • Loss of companionship suffered by family members
  • Pain and suffering of the deceased person before death, as well as that of survivors.

A skilled attorney can guide you about which damages to ask for as well as the amount to request.  Statistics show that people who hire an attorney – rather than trying to handle the insurance and legal system on their own – typically receive higher settlements and jury awards.

Contact a Skilled Wrongful Death Lawyer Today

If your loved one has died due to someone else’s negligence in a car crash, home accident or business fatality, you may be entitled to financial compensation from insurance companies.  If a defective product was involved, you may also be able to sue the product manufacturers.  The reason people and companies have insurance is for situations just like this.  Though your family is grieving and in shock, you are probably also facing mounting medical and funeral bills.  A skilled and experienced wrongful death attorney can help.  Contact a lawyer at Stephenson Rife to get help right away.  We offer a free consultation, so call us at 317-680-2501.

Attorney Brady Rife

Attorney Brady RifeBrady Rife has developed a diverse civil litigation practice for plaintiffs throughout Indiana. Brady is heavily involved in serious personal injury matters, complex business and commercial disputes, and insurance litigation in state and federal courts. Brady has successfully tried several jury trials and bench trials as lead counsel and has also briefed multiple cases before the Indiana Court of Appeals. [ Attorney Bio ]

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