PIP Benefits for Wrongful Death

Closeup of a person writing on a notepad while another person leans forward. Wrongful death can often lead to a need for therapy for family members.

PIP Benefits for Wrongful Death

It is important to know all the insurance benefits that are available when someone is injured, or even killed, in a car wreck.

The Kentucky Motor Vehicle Reparations Act (MVRA), KRS 304.39 provides for basic reparations benefits, also called Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits or No-Fault benefits.  Most often, these PIP benefits help pay lost income and medical bills for someone injured in an automobile collision.  Many people are not aware that PIP benefits also apply to a wrongful death arising from an automobile collision. 

When a car accident victim’s injuries result in death, PIP coverage can apply to funeral expenses and survivor’s benefits.  Specifically, in a wrongful death claim, PIP benefits can pay: Funeral and burial expenses, up to $1,000.00.  KRS 304.39-020(5)(a).  

Survivor’s economic loss, which means “loss after decedent’s death of contributions of things of economic value to his survivors, not including services they would have received from the decedent if he had not suffered the fatal injury, less expenses of the survivors avoided by reason of decedent’s death.”  KRS 304.39-020(5)(d).  

Survivor’s replacement services loss, which means “expenses reasonably incurred by survivors after decedent’s death in obtaining ordinary and necessary services in lieu of those the decedent would have performed for their benefit if he had not suffered the fatal injury, fewer expenses of the survivors avoided by reason of the decedent’s death and not subtracted in calculating survivor’s economic loss.”   KRS 304.39-020(5)(e).  

A survivor entitled to PIP benefits is defined by KRS 411.130 (the wrongful death distribution statute).  Survivors always include the deceased person’s spouse and children. Parents and siblings may be considered survivors if the decedent did not have a spouse or child.  The representative (executor or administrator) of the decedent’s estate does not have a claim for survivor benefits by virtue of that position.  

There is a $200.00 weekly maximum for survivor’s benefits, but it can be prospectively applied to exhaust the entire $10,000.00 in basic PIP benefits.  This means that survivors are entitled to PIP benefits for their probable future economic loss and out-of-pocket costs for replacement services.  PIP survivor’s benefits may pass directly to the survivor and not become part of the deceased’s estate, which provides immediate financial support to a grieving family during a very difficult time.

If you or a loved one are involved in a serious or fatal accident, you should contact a law firm that focuses on injury and wrongful death cases.  Call Crocker Law Firm.  It does not cost anything to see if we can help.

Picture of Robin Hewitt

Robin Hewitt

Robin Hewitt is a personal injury attorney with Crocker Law Firm. She is a graduate of George Mason University and the University of Dayton School of Law.


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