It doesn’t seem fair that when your spouse dies suddenly in a car crash, you are left with the burden of paperwork and bills. It’s one thing to try to pick up the pieces and “carry on” with life as normal, but it’s another to actually get reminders of your husband or wife’s death mailed to you.
This can be an incredibly isolating time. A close friend or adult family member can be a tremendous comfort to you. Not only in supporting you in your grief, but also in helping ease the logistical burden that follows the death of a spouse.
Making Funeral & Transportation Arrangements
If the body of the deceased is still at the place of death, a “first call” needs to be made to arrange for transportation from the hospital or coroner’s office to the funeral home or funeral service facility. In some cases, a second transfer may be required either locally to another funeral home, or to another city for ceremonies and burial.
Funeral directors can often assist in the decisions concerning funeral ceremonies, products, and final disposition of the body.
The funeral planning can be one of the most emotional aspects following the death of a spouse. Consider having a close friend or family member with you when making these arrangements.
Notifying Your Insurance Agent Of Your Loved One’s Death
Notify your car insurance agent as soon as possible following the fatal crash. If your spouse was driving the only vehicle that you owned, your agent can help you find a rental car.
Your car insurance agent may be able to open a file on your case, in the event that you have to file an uninsured or under-insured claim on your own insurance policy.
Speaking With The Insurance Adjuster
If another driver was responsible for the crash that took your loved one’s life, their insurance company will be calling you sometime between a few days and a few weeks. In some cases, they will even call before the burial.
The insurance adjuster will seem very understanding and sympathetic. Keep in mind that their job is to talk to people who have lost loved ones in car accidents, while still keeping their own company’s interests at heart.
No matter how hard the adjuster tries, or how nice he or she is to you on the phone, do NOT let them take a recorded statement from you.
Retaining A Wrongful Death Attorney
If the car accident was caused by another driver, it is important to contact a personal injury lawyer who has experience in wrongful death and fatal car collisions.
The sooner you contact a lawyer, the sooner they can begin their work on investigating the collision before vehicles are repaired or crushed at the junkyard.
Additionally, once you have retained an attorney, the other driver’s insurance company will go through your attorney’s office, rather than calling you. (This is why it is important to hire a lawyer who will communicate with you throughout the entire process)
Won’t The Lawyers Get Most Of The Settlement Or Verdict?
The insurance adjuster may advise you not to get a lawyer due to the amount of lawyers’ fees that would be coming out of your share. Again, think about who you’re getting this advice from, and what their interests truly are.
Studies have actually proven that in cases involving serious injuries or death, the deceased’s next-of-kin will often end up with over three times the amount that they would have received if they had not been represented by a lawyer.
Fatal Accidents in Missouri, Illinois, & Arkansas
While no amount of money will ever bring your loved one back, you have the right to recover any money that you, as the next-of-kin are legally entitled to. Survivors are entitled to recover monetary compensation for ambulance bills, medical expenses, lost wages, loss of comfort, advice, companionship, and society, and other damages that arise after the death of a husband or wife.
Schultz & Myers Personal Injury Lawyers is here to help. We have recovered over $50,000,000 on behalf of our clients. While the numbers mirror the amounts of “big city” law firms, we don’t forget about the loved ones that the deceased has left behind. We are a people-focused law firm and will communicate with you throughout your case.
For a free, no-obligation consultation, call us at 314.444.4444.