• Tom Fowler

Does Insurance Cover Wrongful Death?

Experiencing the pain and grief after losing a loved one is probably one of the most difficult periods of a person’s life. Sometimes, family members can be left to deal with financial difficulties after the loss, especially in cases of wrongful death. But does insurance cover wrongful death? The short answer to this question is yes, but the issue is generally very complex.

Dealing with insurance companies and actually proving wrongful death are only some of the problems people might encounter while seeking reimbursement. These companies might want to persuade people into making deals that won’t pay them enough, and the situation can become even more complicated.


What Constitutes a Wrongful Death?

What Constitutes a Wrongful Death?


Wrongful death refers to the loss of life due to someone else's negligence. When it comes to the word of law, negligence constitutes actions where people don't show care toward others. In more concrete terms, it means failing to fulfill the duty of not putting others in life-threatening situations.

With this in mind, if someone's loved one dies because others put them in a dangerous situation, they can sue for wrongful death. Furthermore, it's important to note that it doesn't matter whether the person who put others in harm's way did that deliberately or by accident.


Most Common Situations that Can Be Grounds for a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

A car accident is one of the most common situations that can warrant a wrongful death lawsuit. When a driver engages in dangerous behavior while driving, that is considered negligence. Such include speeding, driving under the influence, or anything else that can harm others. And naturally, if a reckless driver kills someone, the victim's family can sue the driver for damages.

Another scenario is if a person dies because of a medical incident that involves a mistake on the part of the medical staff. It can be due to inadequate care in the hospital, doctors prescribing the wrong medication, and even the hospital itself can be at fault sometimes.

Thirdly, a wrongful death situation also includes the loss of life due to a faulty product. In this case, the manufacturer of the defective product bears the responsibility. The products in question can be regular everyday merchandise, as well as airbags, for example.

What Problems Might Occur in the Process?


Insurance companies usually have to pay large amounts of money in wrongful death lawsuits. And their unwillingness to acknowledge appropriate compensation sums is the first obstacle people will have to face when trying to get damage awards.

These companies primarily care about their financial status, which means they will look to avoid paying large restitutions. As a result, they will make low offers to the families of the deceased, that most often cannot compensate for the financial burdens.

Now, getting compensation can be a tall task for the families, so it's best to hire a lawyer. An experienced Des Moines wrongful death attorney knows how to approach insurance companies in a way that maximizes their clients’ chances to get as much money as they deserve. They can also help with other concerns such as whether or not can siblings sue for wrongful death or if a girlfriend can sue for wrongful death.


Proving Wrongful Death


As many can probably imagine, proving wrongful death can be especially difficult. Insurance companies don't want to give out money, so they try to find as many loopholes as they can. But a skilled lawyer can help avoid such issues.

They know what these companies look for, and they can prepare accordingly. Attorneys will go through everything in detail to try and prove negligence in a case. They will study all the evidence, police reports, interview eyewitnesses, and build the case around all available information. By achieving this, they can prove wrongful death and ensure that their clients receive adequate compensation.


Forms of Compensation


There are several options people can have in terms of compensation. They may receive damage awards for:

● Costs of the funeral

● Loss of affection and companionship

● Medical bills

● Loss of financial support

● Pain and suffering


Types of Insurance that Cover Wrongful Death


Car Insurance

Car insurance covers wrongful death. This means the victim's family can contact the car insurance company of the driver who killed their loved one. But there is also one additional option. If there was a problem with the vehicle in the accident, the family could also sue the car manufacturer.

The amount of money the victim's survivors can receive in compensation depends on the situation. Here are the significant factors:

● Was it an instantaneous death, or was the victim taken to a hospital?

● Did the victim have high earnings?

● Was the victim killed intentionally or with gross negligence?


Home Insurance

When it comes to home insurance, it commonly covers wrongful death. This type of insurance protects against any injuries or death on private property. However, it is important to provide the home insurance policy to the lawyers for examination. The reason being certain policies have maximum payout amounts, while some do not include coverage for wrongful death. That is all valuable information for the attorneys to prepare their case.

As was the case with car insurance, the victim's family can sue more than one party. For example, someone can go to their friend's house and tragically get killed by a faulty appliance. The victim's survivors can sue both the property owner and the manufacturer of the defective device.

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