What Challenges Might You Face When Pursuing Double Indemnity Claims?
Double indemnity is a legal term frequently used in life insurance policies and other types of accident insurance policies. Essentially, double indemnity is a form of life insurance in which the insurance company agrees to pay the beneficiary up to double the value of the policy if the policyholder dies of accidental causes. This can provide a grieving family with financial security and other benefits in the event of an unexpected death. Not every insurance policy offers double indemnity benefits, so be sure to talk with your insurance agent and your Las Vegas personal injury attorney regarding the details of your loved one’s insurance plan.
What Is Considered An Accidental Death?
To receive double indemnity benefits from a deceased’s insurance policy, the surviving beneficiary will need to be able to prove that the policyholder’s death was accidental. Each insurance company will have its definition of accidental death, so you’ll need to make sure that the circumstances that happened are included in the policy. However, generally speaking, causes of accidental death typically include intentional acts of violence or preventable accidents that were caused by the negligence of another person.
Examples that are usually considered accidental death include:
- Car accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Drowning incidents
- Choking or suffocation
- Exposure to toxic or lethal substances
- Medical malpractice
- Workplace accidents
- Some types of assault
The majority of insurance policies will only provide double indemnity benefits if the death occurred within 365 days of the incident. To establish that the death was accidental, it must be directly linked to the incident. Your lawyer will utilize a variety of evidence to support your claim and demonstrate that the policyholder’s death was the direct result of the accident. Evidence that may be utilized in a claim includes:
- Police report
- Coroner’s report
- Autopsy results
- Toxicology reports
- Medical records
- Witness testimony
- Expert testimony
A death certificate alone will rarely provide enough evidence for a double indemnity claim, even if the death certificate lists the death as an accident. Your attorney will need to provide extensive documentation and may need to negotiate for some time on your behalf for the claim to be successful. A new investigation into the circumstances of the death may be required for the insurance company to accept liability for the claim and make the double indemnity benefit payment.
Making a successful double indemnity claim can take months or longer. Because of the intensely personal and emotional nature of these types of personal injury claims, it’s essential to work with an experienced and reputable Las Vegas auto injury law firm who has earned your trust.
When Do Insurance Companies Deny Double Indemnity Claims?
Each double indemnity claim that is made will be carefully investigated and evaluated on a case-by-case basis. However, some double indemnity claims will be immediately denied if the circumstances of the death were not accidental or if you do not initially submit sufficient information to verify your claims. Some examples of when double indemnity claims may be denied include deaths due to:
- Medical conditions, such as cancer or cardiac failure
- Deaths from surgery or medical procedures that are not due to medical malpractice
- Suicide, attempted suicide, or self-inflicted injuries
- Drug overdose, unless there is evidence of medical malpractice
- Negligence, such as the decision not to wear a seatbelt or a life jacket
- Deaths that occur while the individuals were attempting or committing a felony
- Extreme activities, such as bungee jumping or skydiving
- Cases where the beneficiary murdered the policyholder
It’s important to know insurance companies are corporations that want to protect their bottom line, and will therefore do everything they can to limit liability so that they can deny or minimize payments on claims. Before you agree to a new insurance policy, you should ensure that you fully understand all of the language and terms of the agreement. It’s common for policy language to be manipulated to reduce liability, leaving beneficiaries to receive fewer benefits than they may have expected.
What Should I Do If My Double Indemnity Claim Has Denied?
All insurance claims can be complicated, but double indemnity claims can be especially difficult to prove, especially in complex situations such as medical malpractice or car accidents. In these cases, you can anticipate a legal battle as the insurance company attempts to discredit your evidence and limit its liability.
In these situations, a personal injury lawyer can help. Not only does an experienced attorney have a comprehensive understanding of insurance company tactics, but they can build a strong case on your behalf and use their expert negotiation skills in your favor. Your attorney can also help you know what to expect as they gather evidence and make strong arguments to assist you in getting the insurance benefits that you are entitled to receive.
Looking To Collect Double Indemnity After a Car Accident In Nevada?
If you’re looking to collect double indemnity benefits and need help with your claim, or if your claim has been denied, contact the trusted attorneys at Benson & Bingham Accident Injury Lawyers, LLC. We are prepared to build a strong case as we uncover evidence, prepare arguments, and negotiate on your behalf for the benefits you deserve. We have built a reputation of success as we compassionately support clients facing wrongful death after car accidents and other tragic circumstances. To learn more about your legal options, contact us today for your free, confidential consultation!