Barbara’s heart stopped when she heard the police say, “You need to come down to the hospital right away.” Her husband Bill was in a car accident.
On his way to work that morning, Bill had stopped for a red light. Once the arrow turned green, Bill proceeded to make his left hand turn.
Just then, the driver of an SUV had turned around to yell at his to two kids to “Stop Fighting!” when he ran the red light and slammed into Bill’s work truck. The kids screamed, glass shattered, and the vehicles skidded across the intersection. When the dust cleared, Bill was lying in the street.
The ambulances took everyone to the hospital. However, Bill was pronounced dead on arrival.
Matt and Christy, Barbara and Bill’s grown children, flew in from Illinois and Indiana as soon as they learned of Bill’s fatal car accident.
Matt decided to handle all of the funeral details while Christy took care of Barbara.
Matt also decided they needed to hire a personal injury lawyer. Once, when Barbara volunteered at the United Food Bank she met a nice lawyer, Kim Brown, who was a Personal Injury Attorney. Barbara asked Matt to call Kim.
The next day, Matt and Christy hired Attorney Kim Brown, and she began working on their wrongful death claim immediately.
Wrongful Death is the legal term for a fatal car accident claim.
Choosing a Personal Representative
First, Attorney Kim Brown explained to Barbara, Matt and Christy that they would need to choose Bill’s personal representative. Bill died without a will.
In Arizona, only the personal representative can bring a claim for wrongful death.
Once everyone decided Matt would be Bill’s personal representative, Attorney Kim Brown filed the proper paperwork with the court later that week.
Filing the Fatal Car Accident Claim
Available Insurance Policies
The driver of the SUV’s insurance company immediately tendered his $25,000 policy limits. This is common in fatal car accidents claims. However, $25,000 only covered Bill’s funeral expenses. Now that Bill was gone, Barbara didn’t know how she was going to manage.
Attorney Kim Brown explained that she’d already contacted Bill’s employer.
“Why would you contact his employer?” they wanted to know.
“To verify any Under Insured Motorist coverage on his work vehicle,” Attorney Kim Brown explained. “In Arizona, Under Insured Motorist coverage is optional, and many employers do not purchase it. However, I need to investigate every possibility.”
Because of her 20 years of personal injury law experience, Attorney Kim Brown knew that more than one insurance policy could cover a fatal car accident claim.
Bill’s employer refused to provide Attorney Kim Brown with any insurance information. Therefore, she contacted their corporate headquarters, and discovered a one million dollar Under Insured Motorist policy on Bill’s work truck.
Barbara, Matt and Christy were so relieved when Attorney Kim Brown recovered under Bill’s employer’s Under Insured Motorist insurance policy. Now, Barbara would be properly taken care of, and Matt and Christy would be compensated for the loss of their father.
Persons Who May Recover after a Fatal Car Accident
Although Matt filed the wrongful death claim, all of Bill’s surviving family members were included. The personal representative must list every survivor who has an interest in the case.
In Arizona, A.R.S. § 12-612, states that the deceased person’s spouse, children, and parents may recover damages in a wrongful death claim.
Damages in a Fatal Car Accident Claim
A.R.S. § 12-613, sets out Arizona’s rules for awarding damages in wrongful death claims. Matt made the following claims:
- Bill’s lost wages, benefits, and other earnings
- Bill’s loss of expected earnings
- the value of support and services that Bill provided to Barbara
- loss of consortium from Bill to Barbara
- loss of the care, protection, guidance, advice, training, and nurturing from Bill
- loss of love, society, and companionship from Bill
- Bill’s medical expenses
- Bill’s funeral expenses
- Compensation for Barbara’s pain and suffering
- Compensation for Matt’s pain and suffering
- Compensation for Christy’s pain and suffering
Barbara, Matt, and Christy were glad they hired Attorney Kim Brown to handle their wrongful death claim. Attorney Kim Brown got them more compensation that they thought possible.
If someone you loved died in a fatal car accident, don’t try and navigate the complex law of wrongful death alone. Hire Attorney Kim Brown to guide you through this difficult process and receive the justice you and your love ones deserve.
Attorney Kim Brown is dedicated to helping injured victims in Tempe, Phoenix, and Arizona. She has over 20 years of experience as a personal injury lawyer. She quickly helps her clients recover from their devastating personal injuries and rebuild their lives. Learn more by subscribing to her blog or following her on Facebook.
Call The Law Office of Kim R Brown at (480) 551-5222 for your FREE CONSULTATION with NO OBLIGATION, or visit her website.
Disclaimer: This article provides general information and should not be taken as legal advice. Names, identifying details, and events have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals. Answers to questions or comments do not form an attorney-client relationship. Kim R Brown is an attorney licensed in Arizona. This article is an advertisement.