What to Do after a Fatal Car Accident

Posted by: Kemmy Law Firm

If you recently lost a spouse, parent, or child in a car crash, you probably don’t know what comes next. This might be your first time dealing with the death of a close loved one. Now, while you and your family are grieving, you’re forced to navigate a complex insurance claim and possible legal action.

At Kemmy Law Firm, we believe no mourning family should face this situation alone. We are a family of trial lawyers, and we believe in treating accident victims and surviving relatives like they are our own.

To learn more about bringing a wrongful death claim after a fatal car accident, contact us online or call (210) 735-2233. We offer free, initial consultations with a compassionate and knowledgeable lawyer.

Take the Practical Next Steps

Preserving evidence at the scene or from the vehicles involved is essential. As difficult as it is in those first hours and days after losing a loved one to a car crash fatality, one of your first courses of action should be to contact a wrongful death lawyer about conducting an investigation.

After a death, a medical professional will fill out a Pronouncement of Death form. Because your loved one died in a car crash, you might want a coroner to conduct an autopsy to document their injuries and precise cause of death.

If you aren’t sure whether or not to have an autopsy performed, talk with a lawyer. You can then arrange to move your loved one to a facility for burial or cremation.

You’ll also need to complete a death registration in the county where they died and obtain a death certificate from the vital records office.

Assume Responsibility for the Estate

Someone must assume responsibility for managing your loved one’s estate, which involves the person’s property, money, other assets, and debts. Your loved one might have left behind a will that named a specific person as the executor. Usually, this is a spouse, parent, or adult child.

As the executor, the probate court gives you the power to manage your loved one’s legal and financial affairs.

Contact a Wrongful Death Lawyer

If your loved one died from car accident injuries, reach out to an experienced wrongful death attorney about your options. When another person’s careless or reckless behavior results in a death, the surviving family might be entitled to compensation.

At Kemmy Law Firm, we will review the facts and advise you on whether one or more family members are entitled to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit. We’ll explain the ins and outs of wrongful death law in Texas or New Mexico as well as what to expect from the claims process.

Notify the Insurance Company

To get started on a wrongful death claim, we’ll notify the at-fault driver’s insurance company of your claim. We’ll also put any other relevant party on notice. For instance, if the at-fault driver was working at the time, we’ll notify their employer to ensure it preserves possible evidence.

Benefit from an Independent Investigation

The insurance company will immediately investigate the claim. We also start an independent investigation because you should never have to rely on the insurance company to decide what happened and who was at fault.

We’ll gather evidence of the crash, like the police report, photos, videos, eyewitness accounts, and medical documents. If you don’t have your loved one’s medical records, we’ll reach out to the hospital to gather all the necessary records and paperwork.

Cooperate with the Insurer – With a Lawyer’s Help

The insurance company might want to question any relative present at the accident. You don’t have to make an impromptu statement or answer an investigator’s questions.

If an insurance company reaches out to you, say you’ll get back to them and call us. We’ll prepare you to make a statement or answer any questions for you. We make sure the insurance company has the information they need but doesn’t overly burden you and your family.

How to Handle the Medical Bills?

Hospitals expect to be paid by the estate. If your loved one received medical treatment before their death, then you’ll continue to receive the bills.

We recommend talking with us as soon as possible about how to handle these bills. You don’t want to ignore them. Doing so could cause them to be sent to collections, and then you have to deal with creditors during the probate process.

As an experienced personal injury and wrongful death law firm, we’re used to tracking bills, making sure they get paid by the right people, and avoiding collections. We’ll work to have the bills paid by the appropriate insurance company, like your loved one’s health insurance or Personal Injury Protection (PIP) or MedPay auto insurance.

If your relative had accidental death or term life insurance, we’ll guide you through filing a claim. The proceeds of that insurance policy can help you pay for the funeral, burial, medical bills, and other debts your loved one left behind.

After insurance coverage, there are still probably other bills to consider. We’ll reach out to the medical providers about suspending payment until a settlement or court award is finalized. This is fairly standard, and some hospitals will agree to a lien on your future settlement. This usually helps families avoid the collections process.

Pursue a Fair and Full Settlement

During a wrongful death claim in Texas or New Mexico, close relatives are entitled to compensation for:

  • Medical expenses
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Lost income
  • Lost future inheritance
  • Loss of household services
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of consortium

To secure the wrongful death settlement your family deserves, we’ll offer proof of the other person’s fault in causing the fatal car crash. Then, we’ll offer evidence regarding the value of your claim. If it’s clear the other driver was responsible, our dealings with the insurance company will focus on what constitutes fair settlement. If the insurer contests the other driver’s liability, then we’ll prepare for trial.

To learn more about the steps to take after a fatal car accident, call Kemmy Law Firm at (210) 735-2233 or use our online form to schedule a free consultation. There are no upfront fees. You only pay us if we recover compensation.

Recent Posts:

6 Common Surgeries After a Car Accident

The Most Common Causes of Oil Field Explosions & Accidents

The Dangers of Working in Oilfields

Contact Kemmy Law Firm Today

(844) 334-4388 ONLINE FORM

Get a free consultation. We do not charge up-front fees, and you owe nothing unless you recover compensation.

When you work with us at Kemmy Law Firm, you are working with a family run firm with more than 50 years of combined experience. We are dedicated and successful trial attorneys practicing in West TX, Hobbs, NM, Midland-Odessa, and across the Permian Basin. Our team handles everything from catastrophic injury claims to complex business matters. We are here to fight for you. We dedicate our time and attention to your case and use every resource available to maximize your claim and obtain the best possible outcome.