A life insurance policy is an important aspect of financial planning, especially if you have young children or other family members who depend on you. Generally, people get enough life insurance to cover expenses like funeral costs, personal debts, and their loved one’s living expenses. This is particularly important in the event that the policy holder dies unexpectedly. Sadly, fatal car accidents have been on the rise in recent years, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In 2021, for example, 42,915 people died in auto accidents, which is 10.5% jump from car-related fatalities in 2020.
Most beneficiaries are aware of the policy amount and the basic coverage terms of their life insurance plan. But it may not occur to them to ask “How do I collect life insurance if my loved one died in an auto accident?” until the person passes away. They may also encounter unexpected complications that can hold up their payment for months, maybe even years. If you are struggling to obtain a life insurance payment, please contact the lawyers of DTLA Law Group.
Collecting Life Insurance after an Auto Accident
Contacting the insurance company is the most important step in collecting life insurance after an auto accident. This way, you can notify them of your loved one’s death and verify the instructions to file an insurance claim. Many companies allow you to do this online, but there are still insurers that require an application through the mail. The agent you speak with should also advise you of the documents that are needed to establish the cause of death and prove that you are the legal beneficiary. Here are some of the documents that may be requested by the insurance company:
- Death certificate
- Police / accident report
- Coroner’s report
- Autopsy report
- Medical records
- Driver’s license
- Birth certificate
- Social security card
It can be challenging to collect the necessary information for a life insurance payout, but our lawyers are here to guide you every step of the way. Don’t hesitate to give us a call if you have any questions about a life insurance claim after an auto accident.
How long does it take to get my Payment?
In most cases, life insurance payments have to be paid in 30 to 60 days of receiving the claim application and supporting documents. While some claims are paid within days, others require a more thorough review, which is why it can take as long as 60 days to release your payment. However, an insurance company can also reject your claim or ask for more information, which is not unusual in death cases involving accidents.
If you believe it’s taking too long to receive your payment, or your claim was rejected without a good reason, please speak with a California life insurance attorney at our law firm. It’s an unfortunate reality that some insurers look for ways to avoid making payments. If this is the case, we can help you recover the benefits you deserve.
Why is the Company taking so long to Settle my Life Insurance Claim?
A number of reasons, including short staffing and a backlog of claims, can add to the amount of time it will take to get paid on a life insurance policy. Even with these issues, life insurance companies must make timely payments on legitimate claims from beneficiaries. If they are unable to issue payment, they must have a clear and valid reason to delay or deny your claim. Some issues that can hold up the processing of a life insurance payment include:
- There is a two-year contestability clause, meaning the insurance company has a right to investigate claims on policies that are less than two years old.
- The company believes that there were misrepresentations on the policy application (lies or omissions by the decedent).
- The insurer believes that the beneficiary lied or intentionally left out information on the claim application.
If none of these situations apply, your payment may be held up by the simple fact that your loved one died in an accident. A life insurance company has the right to investigate unexpected and/or violent deaths, such as car crashes. First and foremost, they must verify that the beneficiary did not cause or contribute to the death of the policy holder. Then, they will investigate for any signs that the victim may have been responsible for the accident. Evidence of suicide, alcohol / drug use, criminal activity, and extreme hobbies (parachuting, bungee jumping, car racing, etc.) may be grounds to invalidate a life insurance policy.
These are just some of the problems you may run into while you’re trying to collect life insurance after a death. Going up against an insurance company can be a scary and frustrating experience, but victory is possible with help from one of our attorneys.
Can I Sue the Life Insurance Company?
Yes, it is possible to sue the life insurance company if they are clearly acting in bad faith. Generally, insurance bad faith refers to a deliberate attempt to deny you payment that you are legally owed. Acts that fall in this category include:
- Denying your claim without a legitimate reason.
- Taking too long to investigate an insurance claim.
- Using stall tactics, like continuing to ask for evidence and additional paperwork in order to cause delays.
- Mispresenting the terms of a life insurance policy or the laws governing the policy.
- Failing to release a payment that’s been approved.
Even if you have grounds to sue, you should explore all your available options with one of our attorneys. One option you have is to file a complaint with the California Department of Insurance. This agency is responsible for enforcing California’s laws on insurance companies, and one of their duties is to investigate claims of bad faith by policy holders and beneficiaries. In many cases, filing a complaint with this division may be enough to get your payment released by the insurance company. We can help you assemble a strong and compelling claim against the insurer, and if necessary, pursue your damages through a bad faith insurance lawsuit.
Wrongful Death Compensation for Loved Ones of Car Accident Victims
A wrongful death lawsuit is filed by the loved ones of a deceased accident victim if the death was caused by negligence or misconduct. This can mean a lot of things when it comes to a car accident, but the law assumes that every driver owes other motorist and pedestrians a duty of care when they get behind the wheel. Thus, a driver is legally obligated to refrain from dangerous conduct, such as speeding, driving while intoxicated, or texting while driving. If they engage in reckless or negligent conduct and someone is killed as a result, they can be sued by the decedent’s family members.
In some cases, you may have a claim against the driver’s employer, which can be a company or a public entity (public transportation systems, emergency services, etc.). To prove that you are entitled to compensation, you will need to show:
- The defendant had a duty of care to ensure your loved one’s safety.
- They breached that duty of care through an act of negligence, i.e., being careless or intentionally engaging in conduct that put people’s lives at risk.
- Due to the defendant’s actions, you suffered damages that entitle you to monetary compensation.
We have lawyers experienced in auto accident investigations, who can help you prove these points to the court’s satisfaction. Through a successful injury claim, you may be able to receive medical expenses, funeral costs, loss of expected income, and payment for mental anguish due to your loved one’s death. This can be extremely helpful, as life insurance may not be enough to cover all the expenses you have incurred through no fault of your own. Our lawyers will explore every available option to ensure that you receive maximum payment for your losses.
What can I do if my Lawyer isn’t Helping me with my Claim?
Do you have a pending insurance claim, but you’re frustrated by the lack of progress in your case? When you try to get answers as to what’s going on, your lawyer is nowhere to be found. As a result, you’ve been waiting many months, maybe even a year or two, for the life insurance benefits you desperately need.
If you’re like most claimants, you have probably thought about the possibility of firing your attorney. We may be able to help with a second opinion consultation. One of our experts will review the details of your case and answer any questions you have. Then, we will discuss your legal options and help you decide if changing your lawyer is in your best interest.
We can also provide second opinions on wrongful death cases, no matter where you are in the lawsuit process. Many of these claims sit on the back burner due to a lawyer’s lack of experience or empathy. We can provide insight that you are not getting from your current law firm. If you’re interested, we can talk to you about hiring one of our attorneys and continuing your lawsuit with us. However, the consultation is 100% free, and you are under no obligation to switch your lawyer. To schedule a free second opinion, contact our office at your earliest convenience.
Contact DTLA Law Group
Most people are under the assumption that life insurance is guaranteed after a loved one’s death. But even if you meet all the requirements, there are many complications you can run into to. If you’re having problems collecting life insurance after a death, we can help you obtain the payment you’re entitled to.
Finances are a big concern when you’re trying to recover after a loved one’s death, and you may be reluctant to contact an attorney. Here at DTLA, we work under a contingency agreement known as the Zero fee guarantee. You pay nothing to hire one of our attorneys, as all our expenses are deferred until the end of your case. We get paid when you receive your payment, and if we don’t succeed in your case, you won’t be charged for a single penny of our legal fees.
For more advice from a California life insurance lawyer, call us today and schedule a free case evaluation.
What Types of Injuries Are Common with a Defective Seatbelt?
There are many different injuries that will be common with a defective seatbelt accident claim. You can be hurt in your legs, arms, neck and back. Some of these injuries will be serious, and other injuries may require more surgical procedures to help you to heal from the ordeal.
Other injuries from a defective seatbelt include:
- Chest injuries
- Lung injury
- Lumbar injuries
- Thoracic cage injuries
- Fracture of sternum
- Contusion to chest wall
- Vascular injuries
- Blunt carotid injury
- Cerebral infarction
- Heart injuries
- Disruption and dissection to blood vessels
- Broken hip
- Broken pelvis
- Abdominal injuries
- Compression injuries
- Internal injuries
- Lumbar spine injuries
- Seatbelt syndrome
- Damage to spleen
- Liver damage
- Damage to bowels
- Neck hyperextension
- Neck injuries
- Sprains and strains
- Spinal fracture
- Broken ribs
- Cervical spinal injury
- Broken limbs
- Hollow viscus injury
The lap section of the seatbelt is meant to keep your body in place during a crash. It is supposed to restrain you by clenching your pelvis into the seat. The other points of contact are meant to keep you in one place, but the seatbelt has to stay in place to provide the protection necessary in an automobile crash. Seatbelt pretensions can take out the excess slack of the seatbelt. This uses the retraction section to keep the seatbelt in place when the car feels it is braking.
If the vehicle decelerates, the pretensioners grip the seatbelt and keep you from moving around in the car. It is as if the pretensioners can “sense” that an accident is coming, and hold you firm to avoid being injured in the upcoming accident. If the pretensioners or any component of the seatbelt is faulty, broken or defective, then the seatbelt unit will not work properly at all. In that event, you can be seriously injured in an accident, because the seatbelt will be ineffective to stop your movements in a car accident.
What Are the Product Liability Issues When the Seatbelt Came Off and Broke Off?
When a seatbelt is defective with a product liability issue, it does not protect you in a car accident. Most individuals who do have a seatbelt on in a crash, are able to be injured or killed less frequently, and thus are able to walk away from the accident with fewer serious injuries. A defective seatbelt will harm you, cause serious injuries during a crash, and can be the reason for a debilitating injury as the result of a car accident.
If a seatbelt stops working during a car accident, you can be thrown from the vehicle during the force of the car crash. If you are thrown from a vehicle because of being unrestrained during a car accident, you can be seriously injured or killed from going through a window in the vehicle from the force of the crash or accident. You can be forced out of the car through the windshield, can be dragged along by the car during the crash, or even become crushed and killed by your car if your body does not clear the path of other vehicles during a serious car accident.
Average Value of a Broken Seatbelt / Seatbelt Defect Injury Accident Lawsuit
The average value of a broken seatbelt case will be from $500,000 to up to $7 million. This is because a broken seatbelt can be the reason that a person is not restrained in a vehicle, at the time of a serious crash. The seatbelt components all work together to keep you safe in a car crash. If any one of these components is broken, defective or not working, then it will negate the seatbelt as a unit and you can be seriously injured in a car accident.
For example, the pretensioners on the seatbelt tighten the webbing or strap, which removes any slack in the belt during an accident with another vehicle. If the pretensioner does not work it will put your life in jeopardy during a car accident. The pretensioner uses the same sensor that is attached to the car airbag. It can sense if there is a rapid deceleration that is caused by a serious collision, and will hold you snug and firm in the event of a car accident. If this component of the seatbelt does not work properly because of a defective part, then the integrity of the entire seatbelt will be compromised. In short, the seatbelt won’t work properly and you will risk being seriously injured as a result.
How Much Do These Cases Settle For?
These cases can settle for anywhere between the amount of $500,000 – $6,5000,000. Your injuries will dictate what the case will settle for, and what final settlement package you will receive for your final recovery compensation package for the case.
What If There Are Seatbelt Failures in Ubers – Lyft – Rideshare – Rental Vehicles – Taxis – Used Cars Purchased – Friends Vehicle – U-Haul Truck, Can I Sue?
If you are in other vehicles or cars and there is a seatbelt defect that causes a failure, you can sue for the resulting personal injuries that you suffer as a result of that accident. You can be seriously injured when a seatbelt fails because of an inherent defect.
Yes, you can sue for a seat failure in:
- Rideshare vehicles
- Rental vehicles
- Used cars that are purchased
What you need now is time to heal from your personal injuries, and also time to talk to our legal team about your personal injury lawsuit. You can call us at the DTLA Law Group, to talk to a lawyer about your defective seatbelt claim. We will connect you to a knowledgeable attorney who is ready to initiate a lawsuit on your behalf.
You need to talk to our lawyers with experience in managing and winning cases related to personal injuries with a defective seatbelt that unlatched during an auto accident. Call us today to start the process, we are waiting to take your call.
Zero Fee Guarantee
We offer a zero-fee guarantee every day of the week. That means that you don’t have to pay us any money up front, for us to start your claim and initiate your lawsuit for you. Just give us a call today, and review your case with us for a defective seatbelt that unlatched during an auto accident.
Free Second Opinion
You are able to get a free second opinion from our law office, when you call us at the DTLA Law Group right now. You will feel extremely comfortable talking to an experienced attorney in Los Angeles on our legal team, and you can call us this morning to get the legal advice you need today for a defective seatbelt claim after an accident with serious personal injuries.
Call for a Free Consultation
You are free to call us today for a free consultation, regarding your personal injury claim for an accident that included a defective seatbelt that unlatched during the crash. You can talk to us right now, and we will listen to your concerns. Call today, and don’t delay!