Losing a parent in a car accident can be catastrophic for a family. If you are dealing with such a loss, you might be wondering what compensation your family is entitled to. Before accepting any settlement from the insurance company, make sure you understand the complexities of your case, so that you can consult a lawyer if you suspect you aren’t being treated fairly.
The Loss of a Parent
A child having to face the loss of a parent is hard enough, but it’s also important to consider the long-term implications for your family. Putting a value on the parent may seem impossible, but unfortunately it’s something that an insurance settlement will try to do following a fatal car accident. They will look at a variety of factors, from the parent’s financial contribution to the family and the potential value of lost future wages, to the emotional and social role the parent played in the family.
The Impossible Task: Putting a Value on a Parent’s Life
Your job will be to sit down with your attorney and discuss the late parent’s role in the family. Everyone’s lives will be forever changed from here on out, and that needs to be taken into account. For instance, in a situation where a parent was the family’s sole breadwinner, the other parent would need to replace that income. If there is no other parent in the picture, the children would need to be assigned a guardian, hopefully within the family. On the other hand, if the late parent was the primary caregiver, the surviving parent will need to be able to replace that care.
Even if the late parent was simply a contributor to a two-income family, the loss of that parent’s income could prove devastating, so the family still may be entitled to compensation.
When the Beneficiary Is a Minor
In situations where the beneficiary of a settlement is underage, everything can change. Arizona law requires any settlements of over $10,000 that will be paid to a minor to be approved first by the court. The court can decline the settlement if the judge determines the child’s best interests aren’t being met. If the court approves the settlement, it can require a conservatorship to be established to protect the child’s interests. If you are pursuing a claim on behalf of minor children, it’s especially important to find an experienced accident attorney to represent their interests and navigate the legal requirements of any compensation paid out to them.
Insurance payouts that reflect the economic value of a late parents are just one way to compensate car accident victims’ families. In a world where both parents’ income and caregiving are increasingly necessary, some laws are changing to reflect the weight of this loss. For instance, on May 25, 2022, Tennessee signed into law a bill that would require anyone convicted of vehicular homicide while driving drunk to pay child maintenance if the victim had a minor child. The new law reflects changing attitudes toward the value of parents, and soon we may find laws like these becoming more common everywhere.
Finding Legal Representation
Dealing with the death of a loved one is hard enough, but when losing a parent in a car accident means hardship for the surviving family, it can be especially difficult. Fortunately, if you’ve lost a loved one in a car accident, you may be due compensation that will at the very least make life a little easier for the entire family as you grieve. For a compassionate consultation of your case, contact the Simon Law Group today.