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What protects surviving family members after a fatal crash?

The average car crash will cause property damage, and drivers can often rely on their insurance to cover most of those costs after they pay any deductible that applies. More serious collisions may also cause personal injury. In a small minority of collisions, severe injury or death is the outcome. Such collisions often result in hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses and expenses for the surviving family members.

If your family recently lost a loved one in a collision, you may still have a hard time making sense of what happened. You know you want justice and deserve support, but you don’t fully understand what rights you have as a grieving surviving family member in Ohio. What options do you have for taking care of your family and seeking justice after a crash?

You can file an insurance claim

Every driver in Ohio should have motor vehicle liability coverage. The at-fault driver’s policy can cover property damage costs, as well as the expenses your family incurred because of your loved one’s death. Bodily injury liability coverage will pay for medical care and also help replace some of your loved one’s lost wages.

Given that you will need to claim a lifetime of lost wages, a basic policy may not be enough. You may be able to make a claim against supplemental coverage on your loved one’s policy, including underinsured motorist protection.

You can possibly file a wrongful death claim

Ohio law allows for wrongful death lawsuits when someone dies in a preventable crash. The executor or personal representative of your loved one’s estate can finally wrongful death lawsuit against the person or business who caused the collision.

They can ask for compensation for lost wages and even lost support around the house. The state allows for the recovery of both economic and non-economic damages. The executor will then distribute the proceeds from that wrongful death claim among the closest family members of the deceased.

Families often need to use both of these tools to minimize the lasting consequences of a fatal car crash. Learning more about Ohio wrongful death claims can help you decide if this tool will help your family in the pursuit of justice.