The liable party’s insurance company is the entity that pays for a wrongful death lawsuit. If the liable party was uninsured, then they are personally responsible for paying any damages you receive. This article will give you an overview of how lawsuit payments work and how you can get the compensation that your case entitles you to collect.
Insurance Will Cover Your Monetary Damages
In many cases, the party you sue will have purchased insurance to cover consequential damages. For example, drivers in New York State are required to carry liability insurance just in case they cause a car accident, according to the Department of Financial Services (DFS). Many businesses also carry insurance to pay for damages if someone is injured on their property.
What happens if the liable party does not have insurance? First, they may have been breaking the law; as stated earlier, insurance is a legal requirement in some circumstances.
Second, suing an uninsured liable party is not impossible, but it comes with its own set of complications. Unless the liable party is independently wealthy, they may not be able to cover everything you are suing for. You could run into similar problems even if the liable party has insurance: if your loved one’s injuries were particularly painful or expensive to treat, you might need more money than the liable party’s policy will cover.
Economic and Non-Economic Damages
If your loved one was the victim of someone else’s negligent, reckless, or criminal behavior, you might have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit. By doing so, you are not only holding the liable party responsible for their actions, but you are also seeking monetary compensation for your loved one’s suffering—and your own.
In the vast majority of lawsuits, you only need to worry about two types of damages. The first, non-economic damages, serve as compensation for your loved one’s physical and psychological distress. Common examples include:
- Reduced quality of life: after the accident, your loved one struggled to live independently or could not maintain their preferred lifestyle.
- Pain and suffering: the accident caused your loved one noticeable physical and/or emotional trauma.
- Loss of companionship: your loved one’s passing was hard on you, too. You may qualify for compensation for the loss of their presence and support.
The second type of compensation is economic damages. This serves as compensation for the money you and your loved one had to spend as a direct result of the fatal accident. Common examples include:
- Medical care: your loved one survived long enough to seek emergency treatment and/or long-term care for chronic injuries.
- Funeral expenses: you paid to ensure that your loved one received a proper burial and funeral.
- Loss of financial support: you were dependent on your loved one’s income. Without it, supporting yourself and your family is much harder.
It Is a Good Idea to Consult an Attorney
If at any time you decide you want help with your lawsuit, do not hesitate to talk to a lawyer. They can take the following steps on your behalf.
- Investigate: they will look into the circumstances surrounding your loved one’s death and collect evidence to support your claim for damages.
- Evaluate: your lawyer will make sure your list of damages is complete and that you are asking for the maximum possible amount of compensation.
- Notify: to formally begin your suit, your lawyer will need to notify both the liable party and the appropriate court.
- File: given sufficient notice, your lawyer can submit your lawsuit on time. New York Estates, Powers, and Trusts (EPT) §5-4.1 allows the decedent’s surviving family members two years to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
- Negotiate: the liable party and/or their insurance company may not offer what you need right away. Let your lawyer fight for a settlement that favors you.
- Advocate: unfortunately, negotiations are not always successful. In that case, you can let your lawyer schedule a trial and represent you in the courtroom.
This is all contingent on whether or not you have a viable case. Many firms offer free assessments, so you can find out the likelihood of receiving compensation before you expend a lot of time and effort on a lawsuit. Furthermore, many firms will defer fees until you receive compensation, making legal representation more affordable.
Morelli Law Firm Can Help You, Starting Right Now
Who pays for a wrongful death lawsuit varies from case to case. An attorney can assist you with all aspects of your suit, big and small, from beginning to end. Call Morelli Law Firm at (212) 751-9800 to find out more. You will pay us no fees unless and until you recover compensation.