One of the many burdens that families of accident victims must face is the cost of funeral and burial expenses. It can be difficult for families to afford these costs, and most haven’t budgeted for them because it’s the last thing they expected to have to pay for, especially in the case of surviving parents of teenage victims. Financial experts often say that expensive purchases should never be made in times of great emotional stress, but fatal car accidents leave survivors with little choice.

The father of a 15-year-old Butler County, Pennsylvania, girl who was killed in a car accident last week said he’s decided to sell off the girl’s Jeep in order to pay for her funeral. She was traveling in an SUV last Wednesday with a 17-year-old boy when he lost control of the vehicle, which rolled over and crashed. The boy also suffered serious injuries and remains hospitalized.

The car accident is still under investigation, but state police have said speeding, alcohol and drugs were all factors in the crash. The boy hasn’t been charged but could be once he’s released from the hospital.

The girl was just a few days away from her 16th birthday, when her father had planned to give her the Jeep. He said he never imagined he’d have to sell her birthday present to pay for her funeral. A family friend has donated a plot of land to bury her, a generous gift that will help the girl’s family as they try to recover financially and emotionally from her death.

It doesn’t seem fair that the loved ones of fatal-accident victims should have to make difficult financial decisions under such duress. In cases where negligence is shown to have caused the accident, however, they may be able to recoup their losses through a wrongful death lawsuit. Although it’s fortunate that this family had a donation and an asset to sell in order to afford the unexpected expenses, many others lack these resources. In those cases, a personal injury attorney may be able to help.

Source: WPXI, “Butler County dad selling gift Jeep to bury daughter, 15,” July 16, 2012