When a Loved One is Killed in a Car Crash, How Can the Family Afford the Sudden and Unexpected Funeral Expenses?

Posted by Scott A. Staples | Mar 05, 2021 | 0 Comments

For the grieving family in any wrongful death claim, an additional unexpected consequence of the tragic event is the sudden funeral expense for the deceased. Funeral expenses can be made a part of the wrongful death claim against the adverse, at-fault party, but often- and especially in cases where liability for the death is disputed- receipt of the funds by the victim's estate can be uncertain, or at the very least months or years down the road.

Families whose loved ones die in auto crashes should always look to the auto insurance policy of the deceased (or the parents or spouse in the deceased's household), because in Washington, under RCW 48.22.095(1)(b), the Personal Injury Protection coverage on an auto policy will provide for at least some amount of funeral expense- usually up to $2,000. Given funeral costs today, this may not be enough, but it is something that (unless PIP coverage has been rejected by the insured) will be quicker and more certain to pay out, to assist with this immediate expense.   

About the Author

Scott A. Staples

Scott Staples came on board in 2006 as a clerk during law school, and joined the firm as an associate attorney in 2007. He was made a shareholder in the firm in 2010. Scott graduated, cum laude, from Washington State University Vancouver with a BA in English, and obtained his Juris Doctorate from Willamette University College of Law, with cum laude honors there as well. He has successfully represented clients in a variety of different types of injury cases, including auto collisions, premises liability, animal attacks, watercraft accidents, and construction site injuries. He has appeared, and won, before the Washington State Supreme Court (Weismann v. Safeco, 2012). Scott has volunteered time for the past several years at the Clark County Volunteer Lawyers Housing Justice Project. He has previously served on the new member and membership committees for the Washington State Association for Justice (WSAJ), and has acted as chair and co-chair of the WSAJ Clark County Roundtable. He is a member of the Washington and Oregon State Bar Associations, WSAJ and OTLA (state trial lawyer organizations), and is admitted to practice in all state and federal courts in Washington and Oregon. Scott was born and raised in Vancouver, attending Vancouver public schools and graduating from Hudson's Bay High School. He enjoys playing recreational basketball and softball, skiing, and spending time with his wife and three children.


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