How do you file a claim in a wrongful death case? If the death happened in a motor vehicle accident, the first step is to call your insurance agent and let them know that a tragic accident has happened. When you contact the insurance company of the car your loved one was in, the insurance company will need to get some basic information from you. I would suggest that you wait until you receive the accident report from the police or an incident report before making the call. This is because the accident report will have most of the information you need on it. Also, provide the insurance adjuster with the basic information that they need to set up a claim from the accident report. You don’t need to go further. In most other accident cases, including medical malpractice cases, you would contact the at-fault party.
Related: Is the Insurance Company Really My Friend?
Don't be fooled by the insurance adjuster
When you contact the insurance company, the insurance adjuster may be very sympathetic and act like your new best friend, but this may not be the case. When it's time to settle your claim, the insurance company's true colors will come out. For now, just give them enough information to set up their file. Fatal accidents are very emotional, so it's not a bad idea to wait until the shock of your loss has begun to settle. That way, you are thinking more clearly. Then you can give more detailed information to the insurance company. There is no need for you to give any information before you are ready, even though the adjuster will lead you to believe that you have to do it now. Time is not of the essence here. You do not lose your right to pursue the claim by waiting.
The insurance company wants to get as much information as possible while your mind is distracted. Speaking to you when you are distraught is to their advantage. Why? This is when there is a better chance you will say something that will be turned against you later. They are looking for any small details that can be distorted later to defeat the claim. You may choose to wait a few weeks and compose yourself. Make the call when it is right for you. Don’t fall into the “Just a Few Questions” trap.