When a car accident happens in Georgia, an auto insurance company typically pays for the damages. The same logic applies when a person dies in a car accident. However, which company and how much they must pay depends on the details of the crash.
Which Insurance Company Pays After a Fatal Crash?
When a car accident with injuries or death occurs in Georgia, the at-fault party is liable for damages. However, if the driver has valid auto insurance, the insurance provider is responsible for covering the damages.
When someone dies in a car accident in Georgia, the liable driver’s insurance company has to pay for the victim(s) costs. The accident victim will need to file an insurance claim to seek compensation. But insurance companies rarely make this process easy. Instead, they often:
- Offer lowball settlements upfront, hoping the victim will take it out of desperation
- Call the victim to try and get information to use against them
- Delay the claim for as long as possible
If the victim in a car accident died, they cannot advocate for themselves and file a claim. Instead, certain family members can file a wrongful death claim to secure compensation from the insurance company.
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Filing a Wrongful Death Claim After a Georgia Car Accident
A wrongful death claim is when family members of the deceased pursue compensation for the loss of their loved one. If another person’s negligence caused the fatality, they (or their insurance provider) are responsible for your damages.
Damages you can collect in a wrongful death lawsuit include:
- Medical bills prior to the death
- Hospital expenses
- Burial and funeral costs
- Loss of companionship
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of future income
Proving fault in a wrongful death lawsuit can be difficult, but a skilled legal expert can help. Attorneys collect evidence from the accident and demonstrate how the liable party’s negligence directly caused the fatality.
Who Receives Compensation After a Person Dies in a Collision?
According to Georgia’s wrongful death laws (O.C.G.A. § 51-4-2), the following people can file a claim for compensation after someone dies in an accident:
- The surviving spouse
- The deceased’s children (if there is no spouse)
- The deceased’s parent or parents (if there is no spouse or no children)
- The deceased’s estate (if none of the above apply)
If there is a spouse or child, the spouse can file a wrongful death claim but must share the compensation with the children. The spouse must receive at least one-third of the settlement, no matter how many children the deceased had.
How Much Will the Deceased’s Family Receive From the Insurance Company?
The amount that the deceased’s family will receive from the insurance company depends on:
- The degree of fault in the auto accident
- Total damages the family faces after the death
- Whether or not the family has legal representation
The claim will need to demonstrate that the at-fault driver was negligent in the accident. It will also need to confirm that the loved one’s death resulted from the accident (or their injuries from the accident). To establish fault, you may hire a lawyer to perform the necessary research and witness interviews.
As always, insurance companies are hesitant to pay out what a claim is actually worth. But they are much more likely to take a case seriously if the claimant has a wrongful death lawyer on their side. The insurance company will see that you are willing to fight for the compensation you and your family deserve.
What Should I Do After a Loved One Dies in a Car Accident?
The best thing to do after a fatal accident is to contact an experienced wrongful death lawyer. Losing a loved one is an incredible burden, especially when there are medical bills and other costs to sort out. A skilled lawyer can take on the case details so that you can focus on healing from your trauma.
How Long Do I Have to File a Wrongful Death Claim After a Car Crash?
In Georgia, you have two years from the date of the death to file a wrongful death lawsuit. However, depending on who is at fault for the accident, the statute of limitations may increase or decrease. For example, if a federal or city government is liable, the deadline to file could be six months after the incident.
To ensure you file your claim on time, partner with a qualified Georgia wrongful death lawyer. These legal experts can advise you on the legal process, handle the claim on your behalf, and make sure you receive proper compensation for the loss of your loved one.
Talk to a Georgia Wrongful Death Lawyer for Free Today
If a family member died in a car accident in Georgia, you have the right to seek compensation for what was lost. And our wrongful death lawyers can help.
With more than 20 years of experience helping injury victims and their families get the money they deserve, we know what it takes to win cases. Let us help you, starting with a free consultation. Call (404) 400-4000 or contact us online now.