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How To File An Accidental Death Claim

Posted in Uncategorized on January 26, 2022

When an individual loses their life as a result of an accident at work, there may be various ways for family members and the estate to recover compensation. In some cases, it may be possible to recover compensation through an insurance settlement. This can include the deceased’s personal life insurance or the insurance carrier of another party that caused the death. Additionally, it may be necessary to file a personal injury lawsuit against an at-fault party to recover compensation in these situations.

Filing a Claim With an Insurance Carrier

It is not uncommon for individuals to have life insurance that pays out compensation to family members in the event an accidental death occurs. An unfortunate challenge in these situations is actually dealing with the insurance carriers and getting them to pay the money in a timely manner. 

Insurance carriers are typically for-profit entities and use various tactics to limit how much money they payout for a settlement. As harsh as it may seem, this includes attempting to lower the amount of compensation for an accidental death claim or even deny the claim altogether.

If you need to file an accidental death claim with your loved one’s insurance carrier, there will be various steps in place that you will have to follow. Each insurance carrier is different, but this typically involves a few steps that are common between the carriers:

  • Reporting the claim through mail, fax, email, online, or over the phone
  • Sending relevant documents to the insurance carrier
    • Beneficiary designations
    • Court orders related to payout
    • Copy of death certificate
    • Enrollment forms
  • Reviewing any approval or denial letter
  • Answering any follow-up questions from the insurance carrier
  • Filling out any appeals forms if the claim is denied

We strongly encourage you to contact a skilled attorney who has experience reviewing life insurance contracts so you can be sure that the insurance carrier is treating you fairly.

Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Arizona

Another route towards recovering compensation after losing a loved one is filing a wrongful death lawsuit against the alleged negligent entity or individual who caused the death. In the state of Arizona, wrongful death claims can be filed by:

  • Spouse of the deceased
  • Surviving children of the deceased
  • Parent or guardian of the deceased
  • The personal representative of the deceased’s estate on behalf of these other individuals

Wrongful death claims must be filed within two years from the date of death, or it is likely that the case will be dismissed by the court. Wrongful death claims arise in various ways, but it must be shown the other party was negligent in causing the death of your loved one. In order for negligence to be adequately shown, there are four elements that must be in place. This includes:

  • Establishing a duty of care between the defendant and the deceased
  • Showing that this duty of care was breached in some manner
  • Showing that the breach of duty caused the fatality
  • Establishing that the family members or the estate suffered some sort of monetary loss

We strongly recommend that if you have a loved one that lost their life at work, you reach out to a skilled Phoenix work injury lawyer who has experience handling these claims. A lawyer will be the one to conduct an investigation into the incident, gather the evidence needed to prove liability, and handle all communications with other parties involved.