2 reasons California families choose to file wrongful death claims
Many adults in California, especially those who are the primary wage-earner for their families, have life insurance coverage. If anything unexpected happens to them, the policy that they carry will help replace their wages and cover their end-of-life expenses. When someone dies because of a car crash, there will also typically be an auto insurance policy in place that covers the immediate costs of the collision.
State law also authorizes wrongful death lawsuits so that dependent family members can recover the financial losses generated by someone’s untimely passing. Why do some families in California file wrongful death lawsuits when a loved one dies in a car crash if insurance coverage is available?
1. Insurance coverage is likely insufficient for major losses
There are some drivers who don’t have the coverage required by law at all. Others only carry the bare minimum mandated under law, which is not nearly enough to cover the costs caused by a deadly crash. California requires that every motorist carry at least $15,000 in coverage in case they cause a crash where someone dies. Obviously, the expenses related to someone’s premature death will far exceed the minimum amount of coverage that some drivers have on their policies. A wrongful death lawsuit can potentially help families recover the costs that insurance didn’t help them pay.
2. They want a sense of closure or justice
A successful wrongful death claim will end with the courts determining that the defendant was responsible for someone’s passing and potentially imposing financial penalties on them. The ruling will be a permanent record that establishes that a person or business was to blame for a loved one’s death, which can be helpful for those who are processing the injustice that they and their loved one suffered.
Although it can be hard to imagine going to court after a loved one dies, that is exactly what some families must do if they want justice. Filing a wrongful death claim can both benefit affected survivors and also create consequences for the party responsible for someone’s untimely passing.