Does Insurance Cover Wrongful Death?

A wrongful death claim is functionally similar to any other personal injury claim, except the victim does not survive his or her injuries or illness caused by the defendant in the claim. Just like a personal injury claim, if the at-fault party carries relevant liability insurance, it is technically possible for his or her insurance policy to cover the damages in the wrongful death claim if he or she has enough available coverage.

Regardless of the at-fault party’s coverage limit, most wrongful death settlements come from insurance companies covering at-fault parties. However, they only pay out up to the limits of the applicable coverage. For example, a negligent driver is liable for wrongful death and the jury awards $1 million to the claimant. However, the at-fault driver’s liability coverage is only $100,000. The at-fault driver would then be personally responsible for the other $900,000 that insurance will not cover.

In wrongful death claims against large businesses and companies, defendants typically carry extensive liability insurance so they can quickly and quietly handle wrongful death claims as they arise by settling instead of contending with potential costs of litigation. Average private citizens generally only carry the insurance they need, and coverage limits rarely measure up to the full value of a wrongful death claim.

Despite the fact that a defendant’s insurance policy may not provide enough coverage for the total damages in a wrongful death claim, reaching an insurance settlement is sometimes the best option for the claimant. For example, if negligence is easy to prove, then it would be in the claimant’s best interests to pursue a lawsuit instead of an insurance settlement for the most compensation possible. If negligence is more difficult to determine, an at-fault party like a large corporation may be willing to settle just to avoid the potential litigation costs and damage to their public reputation a high-profile lawsuit would cause.

Has Your Loved One Died Due To The Negligence Of Others In A Kansas City, Missouri?

If your loved one died due to the negligence of others you should speak with an experienced wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible. Please feel free to contact us online or call our office directly at 816.832.4688 to schedule your free consultation. We are proud to serve Kansas City, Missouri and the surrounding area and look forward to speaking with you.

Ryan Fowler
Helping Kansas City area medical malpractice, nursing home abuse and personal injury clients.