Car wrecks can be expensive, but car insurance is typically available for at least one of the parties involved in a motor vehicle collision. In Oklahoma, where the state requires liability insurance, someone affected by a crash caused by another driver can make a claim against the insurance policy covering the person at fault for the wreck.
In theory, the right to file an insurance claim after a crash may pass to the immediate family members of someone who dies. Fatal collisions are one of the leading causes of death in the United States, and your entire family may struggle to adjust to the consequences of losing a loved one in a traffic collision.
Unfortunately, while you may have the right to file an insurance claim, you may find that it is not nearly enough for your needs.
What Oklahoma requires falls short
Your losses aren’t the most important consideration in a sizable insurance claim. The policy limits are what matter the most. If the other driver only carries the coverage required by state statute, your family could be left at a significant disadvantage.
Oklahoma law requires $25,000 in bodily injury liability coverage when a collision hurts or kills one person. If more than one person got hurt, there will be $50,000 to split among the affected parties. The healthcare costs your loved one incurred prior to their death could easily be higher than $50,000. You also have to think about funeral expenses, the loss of their services around the home and a lifetime of lost wages and employment benefits.
Wrongful death claims can help
While Oklahoma insurance laws don’t do enough to protect those who have lost a loved one in a fatal car crash, the wrongful death statute helps provide some support. It is possible to pursue a financial claim in civil court if you can show that negligence or misconduct by an individual or business led to the fatal crash.
A wrongful death claim can compensate you for the loss of a loved one more effectively than the paltry protection provided by liability insurance coverage in many cases. Understanding the basics of wrongful death claims in Oklahoma will help those coping with a recent family tragedy.