Dependents who lose a loved one in an accident caused by another’s negligence may file a wrongful death claim. Insurance companies have specific criteria for evaluating dependent claims, but keep in mind their interests are in keeping down costs. A Michigan injury lawyer, on the other hand, will have your best interests at heart and fight to help you gain appropriate compensation.
General Criteria Insurers Use
Whether the claimant is a dependent child, parent, or spouse, the insurance company will apply the following general criteria in valuing the claim:
- The degree of dependency—complete or partial
- How close the dependent was to the decedent
- How long the dependency relationship would have lasted
Factored into the equation will be living costs for the decedent. Keep in mind that just because the insurer ostensibly uses formulas and applies general criteria, this does not mean that they will evaluate the claim fairly. Your Michigan injury lawyer will help ensure that your claim is evaluated properly.
Status of Dependent
The dependent’s status, or relationship, to the decedent, is the most important factor the insurer will use in determining the value of a claim. He or she will apply the above criteria to the claimant, such as:
- Minor Children: The degree to which the minor children were dependent, and their ages. Education, clothing, transportation, health/dental care will be added to the general criteria.
- Adult Children: Adults are usually not dependent upon the decedent, unless a special issue exists, such as mental health. Adult children who are claimants are usually offered a lump sum in one settlement, rather than separate settlements.
- Spouses: The length of time the decedent would have lived is a limiting criterion in evaluating claims for surviving spouses. However, a Michigan injury lawyer will help the spouse to get enough compensation so that he/she can continue in their accustomed lifestyle.
- Parents: Some parents are dependent upon their children, particularly in old age or times of poor health. The degree of dependency will be a factor in how much compensation the parents receive. Non-custodial parents can also receive compensation, which will be adjusted by their closeness to the decedent.
For Further Questions
If you have further questions or need the assistance of a Michigan injury lawyer, call the Law Offices of Christopher Trainor & Associates to arrange a consultation. We are a dedicated and experienced team who will help you with your wrongful death claim. Call today: 800-961-8477.