What to Know About Funeral and Burial Costs After a Fatal Crash in New Jersey

Posted on behalf of James Lynch on June 15, 2023  in Car Accident News. Updated on July 12, 2023

Woman placing a white rose on a casket. Losing a loved one in a fatal car crash is an unimaginable tragedy. Families often find themselves burdened with significant financial challenges, including funeral expenses. Navigating funeral costs after such a devastating event can be overwhelming.

Let our car crash lawyers in New Jersey help your family fight for the compensation you need. Although this will not bring your loved one back, it may help ease the financial burdens your family may endure because of someone else’s negligent actions.

Below, we discuss what surviving family members should know about navigating funeral costs after the death of a loved one in a crash.

How Much Do Funerals Cost in New Jersey?

The cost of funerals in New Jersey may vary due to various factors such as the type of service, location, funeral home and additional personalized options.

On average, families in the state might pay an estimated $16,400 for a typical funeral and burial service. Included in this average are the following costs:

  • Visitation
  • Embalming
  • Local transfer
  • Transportation
  • Casket and burial
  • Committal and church services

Families choosing basic funeral services and to cremate their loved ones may still be expected to pay out over $12,000.

Who Pays Funeral and Burial Costs?

One of the immediate financial concerns family members may have after a fatal car accident is how to pay for the costs of a funeral for their loved one. In New Jersey, families may have several options.

Personal Injury Protection

All drivers in the state are required to carry a minimum of $15,000 Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance in addition to other insurance requirements.

PIP insurance compensates accident victims for economic damages after an accident no matter who caused the collision. This includes the costs of funeral and burial services. However, the death benefits paid to surviving family members from a PIP policy with a $15,000 limit max out at $1,000. Only low-income motorists who qualify for the special PIP policy are eligible for $10,000 death benefits.

Due to the high cost of these services after the death of a loved one, a minimum PIP policy may not be enough to cover the full extent of your damages.

When damages exceed the limit of PIP insurance, it is time to start looking at what other options are available.

Liability Insurance

For accident victims who died due to the negligent actions of another driver, surviving family members may turn to the liability insurance of the at-fault party. While bodily injury liability is not a requirement for drivers in New Jersey, most drivers do opt for this coverage.

Liability insurance covers economic and non-economic damages, so surviving family members may also be able to recover compensation for things like loss of consortium in addition to funeral and burial expenses.

It is important to note, however, that it is more difficult to negotiate a settlement with liability insurance companies in New Jersey due to the verbal threshold laws in the state. This law can limit an accident victim’s right to sue, so insurance companies are more likely to deny claims without the fear of having to go to court to defend their decision.

Fortunately, there are exceptions to the verbal threshold law that states a lawsuit may be brought against the at-fault party if there is a fatality associated with the accident. Therefore, if you lost a loved one in a collision, and he or she had a limited right to sue, you may still be able to sue the at-fault party.

What Are My Legal Options if My Loved One Died After the Crash?

In some cases, the victim of the car crash does not die right away. The victim may have been taken to a hospital where he or she died after a few hours, days or weeks.

If your loved one survived a catastrophic collision but died shortly after, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault party. This type of lawsuit is brought forth by the victim’s surviving family members seeking compensation for their damages as a result of their loved one’s death. Compensation in a wrongful death case includes funeral and burial expenses.

Another option to help recover the cost of funeral and burial services is to file a survival claim if your loved one started the process of pursuing compensation but died before the case was complete. In these cases, the decedent’s estate continues the legal process of the injury case. An experienced attorney should know to include funeral and burial expenses in the demand letter to the insurance company.

Call a Knowledgeable Attorney Today

If you lost a loved one in a crash caused by a negligent driver, you should strongly consider working with an experienced attorney. Our lawyers have helped accident victims and their families for decades and have a track record of success recovering millions in compensation.*

We offer a free consultation to discuss your claim, and there are no fees if we take on your case.

Call 800-518-0508 to schedule your no-cost consultation.

* Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances.

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