Partner Killed in Car Accident What Are My Rights


Killed in Car Accident - Partner's Rights
Killed in Car Accident – Partner’s Rights

Married couples have legal rights when one spouse is injured or killed in a car accident. But, what about unmarried partners? Our car accident lawyers have represented many unmarried couples, or an unmarried survivor. Unfortunately, the rights of an unmarried partner are often legally limited. Of course, it doesn’t have to be that way. An unmarried couple could have a power of attorney or health care directive giving each other legal rights. This should be considered in a long term relationship.

Unfortunately, without these legal documents, an unmarried partner has limited authority when the other partner is injured or killed in an accident. Most importantly, the doctors and hospital staff will look to family members to make treatment and end of life decisions. Who would you rather have make these decisions? In many cases, the family will defer to the partner. But this does not always happen and can cause significant turmoil. In addition, when a person’s partner is killed in an accident, the surviving partner will usually not be able to get compensation for wrongful death the way a spouse would. That can be particularly painful.

However even without formal documents, a surviving partner does have some legal rights. Most importantly, if the couple has minor children, the surviving partner will control the children’s claims. Also, if there is dram shop case against a bar for overserving a drunk driver, the surviving partner can get compensation for that.


If you have lost a spouse or partner in a car accident, call us for a free consultation. Our attorneys have more than 25 years’ experience helping hundreds of people across Minnesota. We will be understanding of your loss, and we will help you with the legal and insurance issues. You can meet an attorney at one of our Twin Cities offices, or an attorney will come to you anywhere in Minnesota. The initial consultation is free and we never charge anything unless you receive compensation. There is no upfront fee or expense deposit.