When a loved one dies suddenly, it is often all you can do to cope with the emotional loss. Many survivors note that it feels like a bad dream where they keep expecting their loved ones to come home or wake up. The toll it takes is dramatic, and it may take months or years to work through completely.

Unfortunately, bills and financial obligations do not stop. One woman’s companion of two decades and the father of her four children died in a motorcycle crash. She noted that he was the main financial provider for the family. The woman left her job for more than a year, unable to deal with the emotional strain, her caretaking responsibilities and her job duties all at the same time.

The family fell seriously behind on all of their bills and owed back taxes. They lacked money to pay the car note and auto insurance. The widow struggled to make the monthly mortgage payments. She fell behind on their credit cards. Before her husband’s passing, they had bought a new air conditioner and furnace — for which she still owed a balance.

Because of that one tragic accident, the family felt the financial ramifications for many months. The widow was not prepared to deal with everything on her own. Losing her husband was hard enough, but losing his financial support just made things even harder.

Have you lost a loved one in an accident caused by another driver’s negligence? If so, make sure you understand the financial implications of your situation and what options you may have to seek appropriate compensation.