After a fatal crash, family members are left picking up the pieces. The victim’s loved ones not only experience emotional devastation but may also face financial hardships due to the costs of funeral and burial expenses.
If you lost a loved one due to the negligent actions of another driver, you have the right to pursue compensation for the costs of burying the individual.
Our car accident lawyers in South Bend are prepared to help you recover the compensation you need for funeral and burial expenses after the untimely death of a loved one.
Who is At Fault for the Fatal Crash?
Because Indiana is an at-fault state, the liability insurance of the driver who caused the collision covers the costs of a funeral and burial.
In some fatal accident cases, the fault may be more easily determined. For example, in cases involving the following:
- Drunk driving
- Running a traffic light/sign
- Failing to yield the right-of-way
However, liability may be more difficult to determine in certain cases, like a merging accident when it is the word of one driver against another. If one individual died in the crash, he or she cannot provide a statement about his or her version of the collision.
For collisions where liability is not as straightforward, the attorney representing the victim may need to be more thorough in investigating the case and interviewing witnesses who may have seen what occurred.
Although fault for fatal collisions usually falls on a driver, there are some instances when it could be a government entity or business that is liable. For example, if your loved one is killed by a commercial truck driver or a government-owned vehicle.
What if the Victim Did Not Die Right Away?
If your loved one did not die in the crash, but instead died later in the hospital or at home, there are certain things surviving family members should understand.
First, it is important to determine whether the deceased victim had already started the insurance claim process. If he or she did, then the estate of that individual may be able to bring forth a claim for medical bills, lost wages and other damages. Any pain and suffering he or she experienced before passing may be recovered by the estate.
These types of claims are called Survival Actions. A Survival Action may be brought forth by a representative of the person’s estate. Funeral and burial costs are usually also included when a Survival Action claim is compensated.
To What Extent Does Liability Insurance Cover Funeral and Burial Costs?
When you file a claim after the death of a loved one in a crash, the expenses you incur as a result of the collision should be covered by the liability insurance of the at-fault driver.
Your attorney should negotiate with the insurance company to cover the costs of all damages. If the insurance company refuses to negotiate, then your attorney may be able to file a lawsuit on your behalf.
It is important to note that grieving families are usually not compensated for funeral and burial services until the conclusion of the case. This could be weeks or months after the initial accident.
Without an attorney on your side, the case may end sooner, but you may not be able to recover enough compensation to cover all your damages, like funeral and burial expenses. That is if the insurance company does not deny your claim.
With help from an attorney, the insurance company may be more willing to negotiate fair compensation that covers all your damages.
What is the Average Price of Funeral and Burial Services in Indiana?
The average cost of a funeral in Indiana is close to $7,000. This is below the national average of about $10,000.
Included in these costs are the following:
- Basic service fees
- Funeral home fees
- Funeral ceremony
- Embalming and body preparation
This does not include the costs of end-of-life services, like medical bills.
In Indiana, these services average about $12,000. For accident victims who did not die in the accident, these bills could add up, leaving their loved ones in serious debt.
We Are Ready to Help. Call Us Today
Our knowledgeable attorneys are prepared to help grieving families recover the compensation they need to memorialize their loved ones.
While compensation may not bring the person back, it does help ease the financial burden on the family. Let our attorneys help you and your family get back on your feet after the untimely death of a loved one.
Call (844) 678-1800 today.