Death and No-Fault Car Insurance

by Legal Author on September 24, 2019

One of the worst things imaginable is for your loved one to die because of someone’s negligence. This often happens in fatal car accidents. The other driver fails to obey traffic laws and the result is the death of your loved one. According to New Jersey’s “no-fault” insurance system, the insurance company, or insurer, automatically pays some of your loved one’s losses.

No-fault auto insurance, or personal injury protection (PIP) includes death benefits. The death benefits are sent regardless of who was at fault for causing the car accident that killed your loved one.

What are Survivor’s Benefits?

Well, sometimes the terms “death benefits” and “survivor’s benefits” are used interchangeably. Regardless of the term used, the benefits are paid to you because you are the decedent’s relative or beneficiary. The benefits available to you include:

1. Periodic pension payments: This benefit is sometimes called survivors’ economic benefits. The payments are considered income and disability payments which are limited to your loved one being injured, but not dying. The purpose of these payments is to replace the material or real goods.

2. Accidental death benefits: These benefits are only paid if a loved one’s death is ruled accidental. For example, an intentional act such as murder or suicide will not qualify as an accidental death.

3. Replacement services payments: This benefit is to cover household losses an older child or an adult incurs because of the loss of a loved one. These services were done by the loved one such as cooking, moving the lawn or home maintenance.

4. Continuation of lost earnings: Continuous payments are considered lost income benefits. They cover a loved one’s lost income in one of two ways. It pays the amount of lost wages they would have earned in their lifetime. The other option is the benefits pays the future wages that a loved one would have made from the time they were injured until they died. This benefit is typically denied was unemployed when they died.

5. Funeral and burial expenses: Most no-fault insurance policies provide specific coverage for typical funeral and burial expenses of any individual accidentally killed while operating or using a vehicle.

6. Survivor’s benefits: These are the benefits discussed above. They are paid to the relative and are usually limited by the no-fault insurance policy. For example, survivor’s benefits will not include a loved one’s medical expenses or lost income.

It’s important to note that for you to receive no-fault death benefits, your loved one’s death must be directly connected to the operation of the car. This means that there must be a clear and direct connection between your loved one’s death while they were operating or using a motor vehicle.

 Filing a Claim for Death Benefits

After a fatal car accident, you’re required to file a claim to obtain death benefits. For example, you must provide the car insurance company with a copy of your loved one’s death certificate. You have to complete the claim forms provided by the insurer. You also must gather evidence such as police reports, medical records and funeral bills to submit to the insurer.

Talk to a New Jersey Car Accident Lawyer about Death Benefits

Trying to obtain death benefits to pay your loved one’s expenses can be challenging. It’s important to speak with a New Jersey car accident lawyer about collecting these benefits and all of your legal options. For example, you may want to explore legal options such as filing a wrongful lawsuit because your loved one died in a car accident and the other driver was at fault.

Contact a lawyer today for the best advice for your circumstances.

Legal Author

Legal Author

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