A Guide To Accidental Death And Dismemberment Lawsuits

Law

Losing a loved one or seeing them go through the pain and trauma of losing a limb leaves deep emotional scars for everyone involved. No one wants to go through this process willingly. Many families wish they don’t have to think about something as serious as that.

For this reason, many people have life insurance and decide to add an accidental death and dismemberment policy to their main one. This addition could give them peace of mind that their family is taken care of in the event of an accident. But unfortunately, this sense of security may be false when these insurance companies decide not to pay the claim.

There are some complexities to these types of insurance that people should understand before taking out the policy. To gain more insight into the topic, here are a few things you need to know about an accidental death and dismemberment lawsuit:

What Is An Accidental Death And Dismemberment Policy?

Most insurance companies will define this term as a death or loss of a limb due to an event not caused by natural occurrences like a medical condition. The most likely cause of death in the United States is a heart attack, which doesn’t qualify as accidental death, for example. 

On the other hand, some leading causes of accidental death in USA are motor vehicle crashes, unintentional poisoning from a drug overdose, accidental drowning, and slip and fall accidents. Unfortunately, the insurance policy won’t cover all these situations. Therefore, people wanting to claim for any of these would have to consult the fine print of the documentation first.

An insurance policy could have particular conditions to pay the beneficiaries. They should stipulate those to their clients before they sign the paperwork. As with any other business, insurance companies would want to save as much as possible on the payment of claims, and they may decline to pay the beneficiaries for various reasons.

Are There Any Exclusions?

A typical accidental death and dismemberment policy is only an addition to the life insurance the person already has and shouldn’t be a replacement. Unfortunately, it’s one of the mistakes many people make when taking out these policies. An insurance broker should explain the pros and cons of taking out this type of insurance to the person before selling the policy.

There are a few general exclusions that the insurance companies can refuse to pay out. These could include:

  • illnesses or medical conditions,
  • not using commercial airlines,
  • self-inflicted injury or death, or
  • when the death or loss occurred due to being under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Some of these conditions are harder to prove than others, and there could be an extensive police investigation, especially in the case of wrongful death. Still, the insurance company can launch a proper inquiry before granting the payout with the correct medical documentation like an autopsy report, death certificate, and other official documentation stating the exact happenings of that fateful day.

Why Do You Need A Lawyer?

Some insurance companies want to avoid paying out a claim at all costs. Unfortunately, this bad faith practice denies the grieving family the desperately needed financial assistance. There are many therapy sessions, funeral arrangements, loss of income, counseling, and much more that they would have to cover after losing a loved one or when their family member loses a limb.

When insurance companies deny a claim and the family has all the necessary documentation to prove their case, a lawyer will assist them with a lawsuit against the company. Unfortunately, some of these insurers avoid meetings, keep the family distracted with paperwork, or deliberately stretch out their investigations to ensure the claim falls outside the statute of limitations.

The statute could differ from region to region or insurer to insurer, and beneficiaries like spouses or domestic partners should make sure they file these claims within this time frame. If there is no fault from the client’s side, an excellent legal team will support them in filing a lawsuit so the insurer will treat their case fairly.

Final Thoughts

Anyone who worries about their family and wants them to receive compensation in case of a tragedy should consider speaking to their insurer about adding a policy for accidental death and dismemberment. Ensure you keep all the documentation on hand and explain to the beneficiaries where to find it when needed.

One of the best decisions anyone with this policy can make is to have a reputable law firm on speed dial. The family may need to contact them for various reasons, including an accidental death and dismemberment lawsuit.

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