Law enforcement agencies are not the only ones who comb through evidence following a motor vehicle crash involving serious injuries or fatalities. The drivers and passengers' insurance companies require details to support or discredit accident injury and wrongful death claims.
Auto insurance is designed to pay for property and personal damage caused by an at-fault driver. Liability insurance is mandatory for Illinois car owners. Unfortunately, some motorists drive without insurance or don't have enough coverage to pay all the bills associated with a collision.
Insurance companies are profit-making businesses. Claims adjusters try to resolve accident claims that save the insurer money, sometimes by denying all or part of an insured or victim's claim. Legal action may be necessary to ensure a reasonable settlement or damages are paid.
Evidence must support criminal charges, as well as insurance claims and civil complaints. Charges and claims against a driver can be dropped or diminished without proof of wrongdoing or negligence. Unfairly dismissed or denied claims often threaten the financial wellbeing of accident victims.
A 66-year-old southern Illinois man suffered critical injuries in a recent pedestrian accident. His 67-year-old wife did not survive. The O'Fallon couple was hit by a car as they were leaving a park where another family member was taking part in a sporting event.
As sad as circumstances may be, the injury or death of a crash victim is not proof that a crime was committed. Police have not determined whether the driver will be charged for the fatal accident.
A criminal investigation can be closed long before doctors determine whether or when an accident victim will get better. The case then becomes a civil matter, which may require the help of a judge or jury. Car accident victims and families frequently turn to attorneys to help them cope with police and insurance investigations during painful recoveries or grief over a loved one's death.
bnd.com, "'Service-minded' woman dies after O'Fallon crash" Scott Wuerz, Sep. 16, 2013