After a car accident injury leading to death in Boca Raton, who will pay medical bills and funeral expenses?
When someone dies from a car accident, it is important to seek legal counsel to navigate through the process of applying for death benefits and resolving the reason for the accident, leading to legal action to recover damages.
Insurance and death benefits.
If someone dies as a result of a car crash in Boca Raton and it can be proved accidental, there are death benefits under Florida’s no fault insurance law. Medical bills incurred as a result of the accident will also be paid by insurance up to the policy limits. If there is a legal case pending, funeral expenses can be paid by the victim’s no fault insurance to be later recovered in a settlement from the at fault driver when necessary.
Mandatory Insurance. State of Florida requirements are that motor vehicles must have current auto insurance coverage with a minimum requirement of $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) and $10,000 in property damage liability (PDL).
No-Fault Car Insurance. The Florida No-Fault Law requires drivers to carry the PIP and this no-fault coverage pays the insured’s bills, regardless of fault, up to the limit of the $5,000.
Under the Florida no fault law the PIP portion of the insurance may pay for a car accident victim’s losses including “death benefits” like ordinary funeral and burial expenses, and survivors’ benefits may also be available to the family or dependents of the deceased individual. Sometimes those benefits include lost earnings, pension payments and replacement services payments. The death has to be directly related to the use or operation of a motor vehicle to recover no fault death benefits of any sort, and it has to be ruled an accident, not a suicide by intentional act, which would block family members from receiving any benefits.
In Florida PIP covers up to $5,000 of death benefits per individual. Death benefits are in addition to the medical and disability benefits. This is because, often, before someone dies, they incur medical costs. The $5,000 death benefit is paid like a life insurance-type policy in a lump-sum. These benefits are paid to the executor or administrator of the deceased; or to any of the deceased’s relatives by blood, legal adoption, or marriage; or to any person appearing to the insurance company as equitably entitled to such benefits.
Accessing death benefits.
After a fatal automobile accident, the person seeking no-fault death benefits:
- Must give the insurance company (“insurer”) a copy of the death certificate
- Should gather information such as hospital and medical records, accident and police reports, the decedent’s tax and earnings information, and funeral bills and expenses
- Should use the forms provided by the insurer for filing claims, and
- Should determine if there’s more than one policy that covers the decedent, because in some states, the survivors can use multiple policies to recover more than once for the decedent’s death, which is called “stacking” of death benefits
Any exclusion that would prevent the decedent from recovering no-fault benefits also bars the recovery of survivors’ benefits. So, if a decedent cannot recover accidental death benefits because of suicide, the survivors usually cannot recover any benefits.
Hire an attorney.
If a family member has been killed in a car accident in Boca Raton, you may need the services of a knowledgeable attorney with a successful track record in personal injury accident cases. Call the Law Offices of Oscar Syger for assistance with legal action regarding the death of your loved one and the application for death benefits after a car accident.
Law Offices of Oscar Syger, P.A.
433 Plaza Real Suite 275
Boca Raton, FL 33432
Contact a funeral home.
There will be matters to attend to for the burial, cremation or memorial services and Glick Family Funeral Home has experience with all faiths and will act respectfully with courtesy to families in their time of grieving.
Glick Family Funeral Home
3600 North Federal Highway
Boca Raton, FL 33431