Although car crashes are a part of daily life in Georgia, most people assume that their families will never feel the effect of a major wreck. Thousands of Georgia residents every year get injured or die in car crashes, and the people affected by the wreck, as well as their immediate family members, may experience years of financial consequences related to a motor vehicle collision.
When someone dies in a crash, the negative impact on the surviving family is obvious. They lose a family member, which will cause emotional devastation. They will also experience financial hardship from losing years of wages and household services. Some of these families will choose to bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the driver who caused the crash or another party that may have partial liability for the wreck.
Why do some families turn to the civil courts instead of just making an insurance claim after a deadly crash?
Insurance may be far from enough
Georgia does require that every driver register their vehicle and pay for insurance. The liability coverage required under state law can reimburse your family for the property damage costs from the crash, as well as the financial costs related to someone’s fatal injuries. Lost wages, medical expenses and funeral costs are among the losses you could claim from an insurance company.
However, many drivers don’t carry enough insurance for the true impact of a fatal collision. It is common for drivers to have just $25,000 in bodily injury liability protection if they cause a crash that affects one person. At minimum coverage does increase to $50,000 when two or more people get hurt, but your family may have to share those benefits with others.
Not only are there losses you suffer that you would have a hard time claiming from an insurance company, like the loss of someone’s work around the home, but the policy limits will absolutely control how much your family actually receives. You could have hundreds of thousands of dollars and losses and only receive $25,000 from the insurance company.
A wrongful death claim allows you to more comprehensive reimbursement for your losses and also allows you to seek the true financial value of your loved one’s lost life. Beyond the compensation available, families may also feel strongly about having the courts determine that a specific party is to blame for a fatal crash. Understanding why families pursue wrongful death lawsuits could help you decide if one is appropriate in your family’s situation.