Ask A Lawyer: Financial Payment to DWI Victim’s Family

Question: My brother was killed in a car accident. He was a passenger in, and the driver- who was already facing court for a DWI- was drunk when he wrecked. Can I sue the drunk driver’s insurance for my brother’s death? My parents have settled with the insurance company for a shockingly low amount. My siblings and I are furious that so little was paid for a man’s life.

Answer: Unfortunately, probably not. It sounds like your parents had the legal authority to represent your brother’s estate. More than likely the insurance company paid out the policy limits. The real issue was if your Brother was covered by any “under-insured” policies, such as his own car policy.

Insurance policies and the rules that govern them are very complex, and I hope that your brother’s estate was handled by an attorney who exhausted the resources, and did not close the matter without investigating alternative insurance coverage issues.

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