In California can insured party sue their own insurance company? CA Law who is entitled to money when there is a wrongful death?

Asked about 1 year ago - San Francisco, CA

Passenger in vehicle died as a result of single car accident. The Driver is insured under their own policy, the vehicle involved was owned by passenger's family member. The passenger left behind a wife & adult children. The vehicle involved in accident was registered & insured under one the passenger's child. Who is entitled to money from a wrongful death suit?

Attorney answers (5)

  1. Daniel Nelson Deasy

    Contributor Level 20

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I agree with Mr. Crosner. I am so sorry to read of this tragedy. You do need to sit down with a local personal injury attorney to fully understand your rights.

    In no way am I offering you legal advice, and in no way has my comment created an attorney-client relationship.... more
  2. David Lee Fiol

    Contributor Level 17

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . My condolences to the family. Except in those cases where the insurance company has breached its obligations to its insured, in which case it can be sued for "bad faith" breach of contract, insurance companies are rarely the defendants in cases. In this situation the defendant would not be the insurance company but rather the negligent party that caused the accident - i.e. the driver. The plaintiffs would be the decedent's wife and children, and any of the decedent's parents who were dependent on him for support (this is defined pretty broadly). These people will share the recovery in proportion to the support they lost from the decedent: in this case the wife most likely would receive the largest share.

    Your question does identify a legitimate issue because many if not most automobile insurance policies exclude coverage for liability to family members of the insured. That probably will create issues in your case, and the key for your lawyer will be to sort out whether and where there is coverage that is not defeated by this exclusion. Based on the facts you present there may be several policies that offer coverage and hopefully at least some of them offer coverage in your case.

  3. Michael Shemtoub

    Contributor Level 17

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Sorry to hear about your loss. EVERYTHING will likely come down to coverage under the insurance policy. If the party only had liability insurance then they are most likely out of luck. That is the short and quick answer. I'm sure any attorney you contact on this page can discuss the case in more detail when you provide the coverage information.

    Direct Line to Attorney: 877-427-2752 or Email: Michael@Kingofpersonalinjurylaw.com; Website: www.KingofPi.com... more
  4. Christian K. Lassen II

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . A lawyer would need to review the policy.

  5. Richard Andrew Harting

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . There will be a claim for the decedent's spouse and children (if none then it goes down the family line) against the driver's policy. From there your facts are confusing - you will need to sort out the insurance coverages and go from there. It will be important to determine if the decedent is considered an insured under the family member's policy which may be another source of recovery. Consult an attorney

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