Can You File A Claim If The Negligent Driver Died In The Accident?
Getting into a car accident can be tragic, especially if someone loses their life. If you were in an accident that is caused by someone else, you can sue for your damages. However, if the person who hit you with their car passes away in the accident, you have more to think about. Filing a claim against a person who has died can be more complex. Here is what you need to know.
Do You Still Have a Claim if the Other Driver Passed Away?
A claim for compensation for damages will come down to proving whether or not the other party is at fault for the accident. If you live in an at-fault state, all drivers are required to carry liability insurance. This means that when someone causes an accident, you as the injured party can file a claim for compensation through their insurance provider. This process does not change even if the other driver died as a result of the accident.
The process of filing a claim for compensation generally does not involve the at-fault driver. All negotiations take place between the injured party, the insurance company, and your respective attorneys. The fact that the driver died does not typically impact your compensation claim.
What If You Need to File a Lawsuit?
If the insurance provider does not meet your needs for compensation even with proof that you are not at fault, you may have to file a lawsuit to get compensated for your losses. If the driver died, you could file a lawsuit against their estate. It can be more complicated to sue an estate versus a person. If there is enough liability coverage carried by the driver, you will receive what you need to cover your costs if you win the case. This depends on if there is enough coverage to meet your financial losses. If this is not enough, you can continue to sue the estate. These types of cases have many variables. Your attorney will have to help you determine exactly which avenue you need to go down to go through with suing an estate, especially if probate is involved.
What About the Loved Ones of the Other Driver?
You may be feeling some guilt about suing for your losses when the other person passed away, especially if they are leaving behind a family. Keep in mind that most of these cases are handled primarily by an insurance company even if you do not file a lawsuit. The loved ones of the other driver likely will not be dealing with the claim. Remember that your losses due to the accident are valid, even if the other driver sadly lost their life.
Reach out to a law firm like Bradley Drendel & Jeanney to learn more.