How to Deal with Travelers Insurance and Wrongful Death Claims
CALL (512) 246 2224 TO SPEAK WITH MIDLAND WRONGFUL DEATH LAWYERS FOR FREE
The loss of a loved one in an accident is always a painful and traumatic experience. If this accident was caused by someone else's negligent behavior, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim to seek compensation for your loss. The party responsible in these cases is often covered by an insurer, such as Travelers Insurance, that will negotiate and settle the claim on their behalf.
If you have lost a loved one, the wrongful death attorneys at Zinda Law Group can negotiate with Travelers on your behalf. For a free case evaluation, call (512) 246 2224. You will not owe us anything unless we reach a favorable result!
Who is Travelers Insurance?
Travelers Insurance is one of the oldest and largest insurers in the United States, covering both personal as well as commercial policies. As one of the largest and most experienced insurance companies, Travelers has lawyers around the nation, and their job is to ensure that Travelers Insurance pays the least amount possible when presented with claims. They may often present themselves as being concerned about your pain and suffering, but they are hired for the express purpose to make sure that Travelers Insurance pays as little as possible to settle your claim. Just like any company, they work to make a profit, and as a result, will do whatever they can to avoid paying out damages, with little regard as to the effect this will have on the families of a lost loved one.
How Does a Wrongful Death Insurance Claim Work?
Wrongful death claims are filed by the victim's surviving family in civil court if the loved one's death may have been caused by the other person's or party's recklessness or negligence. These claims seek economic compensation for the families who lost their loved one in such an accident.
How to File a Wrongful Death Claim
1. Contact an Attorney
Insurers seek to pay out as little as possible when presented with a claim, and they have teams of experienced lawyers that work hard to make sure this happens. If your loved one has died in an accident, you should contact an attorney to help you file your claim. An experienced wrongful death attorney can help you stand up against the insurance company's lawyers and pursue a settlement that makes your needs the priority, not those of the insurance company.
2. Obtain a Death Certificate
The death certificate of a loved one can be obtained through your Department of Health. This will provide necessary factual evidence of your loved one's passing.
3. Document the Accident
In a wrongful death case, negligence must be proven, and collecting evidence of the accident is critical to accomplishing this goal. Evidence that may help prove negligence can include photos taken at the site of the accident and the surrounding area, as well as photos of any objects or conditions in the area that may have caused or contributed to the accident. It is also important to obtain the contact information of any witnesses to the accident. Any documentation regarding the accident is also important to collect.
4. Appoint a Representative of the Estate
If one has not already been named in a will, the family of the deceased loved one needs to appoint a representative of the estate to represent the surviving family members and put forward the wrongful death claim.
Once you have contacted an attorney, they can investigate the accident to determine if negligence or recklessness may have been the cause. If they find evidence to determine that negligence did play a role in the accident, they can assist you in filing a wrongful death claim and negotiating a settlement or take the case to trial if a settlement cannot be reached.
Child Wrongful Death
In the event that a child dies in an accident caused by negligence, the parents may file a wrongful death claim. It should be noted that compensation awarded in these cases may be limited to financial damages, which may be significantly lower than those of an adult, as a child usually has not contributed financially to the family. Damages may be restricted to medical and funeral costs for these claims.
How is a Claim Evaluated?
A wrongful death claim must prove four things in order to be successful:
1. Duty of Care
The first thing that must be proven is that the defendant, in this case, the person at fault for the accident, had a duty of care towards the victim. This means that they had an obligation to act or behave in a certain manner to ensure an accident did not occur.
2. Breach of Duty
Next, it must be proven that the defendant did not take proper precautions or that the party failed to behave in an appropriate manner, and doing so was in breach of their duty towards the victim.
Once it has been shown that a duty of care exists and was breached, it must be proven that this breach of duty caused the accident that resulted in the death of the victim.
Finally, it must be proven that the accident caused damages to the victim. In a wrongful death claim, damages are usually presumed since the accident resulted in the victim's death.
Knowing the Amount You Actually Need
The death of a loved one can often place a severe financial burden on the surviving family. Not only must the family of the victim worry about paying medical bills and funeral expenses, but such deaths often impact the financial future of the family as well. The loss of a loved one can mean a loss of income, which can be financially crippling. Emotional damages, while more difficult to put a price on, still represent very real pain and suffering for the family of the victim, who may have lost their spouse or parent in the accident.
How A Lawyer Can Help
Wrongful death claims can be complex and difficult to navigate successfully. Insurers like Travelers Insurance have lawyers who do nothing but handle these types of cases. These lawyers work to ensure Travelers does not pay any more than it has to, regardless of your situation. However, an experienced wrongful death attorney can help you level the playing field. Your attorney can investigate the accident to determine liability and if negligence played a role in the accident. Having an experienced attorney to help guide you through the paperwork and hassle of such claims allows you to seek maximum compensation for your injuries.
How Is Compensation Calculated?
Compensation for wrongful death claims is divided into two categories, economic and non-economic.
Economic damages refer to the financial damages suffered by the surviving family after the death of a loved one in an accident. These can include:
- Medical Bills: After the loss of a loved one, you may still be responsible for medical bills incurred as a result of the accident. This usually includes hospital stays, treatments, and medications.
- Funeral Expenses: Funeral expenses generally cover bills related to funeral services and burial costs.
- Loss of Income: If your loved one was unable to work for a period of time after the accident before they passed, you may be able to seek compensation for loss of income during this time.
- Loss of Earning Potential: The passing of a loved one often results in the loss of income they provided, which can present a heavy financial burden for the surviving family going forward. In a wrongful death case, you can seek compensation for this lost potential income. These claims take many factors into consideration, including age, occupation, salary, and health before the accident.
The death of a loved one can cause tremendous financial hardship for the surviving family members, but the loss of a loved one also takes a heavy emotional toll on the victim's families. While no amount of money can replace a lost family member, considerations can be made for their emotional loss as well. Non-economic damages may include:
- Pain and Suffering: Pain and suffering compensation is awarded in consideration of the physical and emotional pain and anguish the victim may have suffered as a result of the accident before death. The amount of compensation for pain and suffering varies, with factors such as the severity of the injuries being taken into account.
- Emotional Distress: Emotional distress damages provide compensation for the emotional pain and grief caused by the death of a close family member. This type of compensation can vary from case to case, with different details taken into account.
- Loss of Parental Guidance: This type of compensation awards damages to the children of the victim, to help compensate for the loss of a parent's guidance and care.
- Loss of Consortium: Loss of consortium damages may be awarded to the spouse of the victim. These damages are awarded in consideration of the loss of companionship due to the wrongful death of a spouse.
The statute of limitations is the time period within which family members may file a wrongful death claim. It may vary in some states, but it is usually two years from the date of death. In some states, certain family members may only be able to file a claim during certain windows of time, such as only a spouse being able to sue during the first year, while children of a victim may file after the first year has passed.
ZINDA LAW GRoupCAN NEGOTIATE ON YOUR BEHALF
The loss of a family member is devastating and can cause many pressing issues to arise. Negotiating with Travelers is one that you should not attempt to face by yourself.
At Zinda Law Group, our Midland wrongful death attorneys can help you seek a fair settlement from Travelers by negotiating on your behalf. If a settlement cannot be reached, we can find other legal options to seek maximum compensation.
Call our No Win No Fee Lawyers today at (303) 225-9846 for a free consultation.
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