In most cases, yes, but it works a bit differently than a crash where the victim doesn’t die. When someone dies in an auto accident because of someone else’s negligence, the law allows the surviving family to sue for a wrongful death. When the injured person survives, the victim has the right to sue the at-fault driver for injuries and financial losses, and that driver’s auto insurance policy would cover the damages.
However, in a wrongful death crash, the deceased can’t sue nor make a claim against an insurance policy. Kentucky law gives that right to the surviving members of the deceased’s family and a personal representative of the deceased can file a wrongful death claim.
If the driver is found to be at fault for the accident, then his or her insurance will pay for the damages subject to the cap on the policy. The payments don’t go to the estate of the deceased, rather they go to compensate those family members that have suffered losses due to the passing of their loved one.
What if There’s Not Enough to Cover all Losses?
Each insurance policy has a cap that limits the amount of compensation paid to the surviving family. If there is not enough to cover all losses, or if the driver has no insurance, then any family member who has an auto insurance policy with an uninsured or underinsured motorist provision on their policy will be able to collect under their own insurance coverage.
What Damages Can be Claimed?
The surviving family members are allowed under Kentucky law to seek compensation for wrongful death for all economic and non-economic losses suffered because of the negligence of the at-fault driver. Economic losses are those that have a direct dollar amount associated with the loss, and non-economic cover things like pain and suffering. Some of the damages that can be claimed in a wrongful death claim are:
- Outstanding Medical Bills of Deceased
- Loss of Care, Training and Nurturing (of a minor child),
- Loss of Financial Support (present and future)
- Loss of Inheritance from Early Death
- Pain and Mental Anguish from Loss
- Loss of Consortium (spouse)
- Loss of Companionship, nurture, and training.
- Punitive Damages (If the death was purposeful or grossly negligent)
Speak with a Louisville Wrongful Death Attorney at Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC
As a personal injury law firm, we at Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC are prepared to handle a wide variety of cases in which someone has been harmed or died due to another’s negligence. In the case of wrongful death, we understand how incredibly difficult it can be to pursue legal action while still grieving the loss of a loved one.
Wrongful death lawsuits are complex, time-sensitive matters that can’t be put off for long – instead of trying to navigate this legal route alone, let us help. With decades of combined legal experience, we are prepared to sensitively and competently address your concerns and guide you through every aspect of the process. For a free consultation, get in touch with us today by calling (502) 458-5555 or (800) 937-8443.