A New Hampshire teenager recently died in the hospital two weeks after being struck by a motor vehicle in Hooksett, NH. What are her rights? What are the options to her family?
First, a petition for estate administration at the probate court should be established in order to have an entity able to speak on behalf of this young teenager.
Second, while the automobile insurance company for the responsible party may be speaking to the family and advising that they will take care of bills, the family should look into their own insurance policies as well.
We strongly recommend that the family obtain legal advice, at least a consultation, to discuss their options and rights. That usually could be accomplished at no charge to the family. There are several sources of recovery.
We would look to the liability insurance policy for the individual operating the vehicle and any other policies that this individual may have coverage under.
Additionally, the teenager would be covered under her parents’ liability policy under the uninsured motorist coverage area. That would be true for both the policy for her mother and perhaps the policy for her divorced father. If the parents have joint custody, for example, then the youth may actually have two residences.
In addition to medical bills, funeral, and other such expenses, the estate for the decedent is entitled to receive recovery for lost earnings in life and most importantly the loss of the enjoyment of living.
An insurance claim is never a substitute for not being injured at all. But when the worst happens, make certain that the decedent received what she deserved.