Losses in an accident are payable by the negligent driver, so what happens when the negligent driver dies as a result of the accident? This can be a tough question for victims of accidents who suffer serious injuries necessitating large medical bills, property repair costs, and other associated expenses. In terms of your recovery, it doesn't matter if the negligent driver survived or not – you are still entitled to compensation to help you become “whole” again. Generally, you may be able to file a claim with the deceased's insurance or estate. In this article, we'll discuss how filing claims against a deceased negligent driver works.
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Filing a Claim Against a Deceased At-Fault Driver
If you were in an accident involving a negligent driver who died as a result of the accident, you may be asking if you still have a case. The answer is, generally, yes. Typically, you will be able to file against the deceased's insurance policy to pay for your losses caused by the accident. Even if the policyholder has died, his or her insurance company will be responsible for paying your damages. Some examples of damages recoverable in a personal injury claim may include:
- Past and future medical bills
- Rehabilitation expenses
- Property repair costs
- Prescription costs
- Past and future lost wages
- Emotional trauma
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of companionship
- Wrongful death
- Depression and anxiety
- Severe physical pain
What About the Family?
Many people are, of course, concerned about the deceased's family in situations like these. Understand that in the case you need to file a claim to recover damages caused by the deceased driver, you will not be dealing with the family. You will be going through the deceased's insurance company, which is meant to provide recovery in situations where a policyholder has caused an accident resulting in losses to another person. According to the law, you are fully within your rights to recover from losses in an accident caused by an at-fault driver.
In the Case of Underinsured or Uninsured Drivers
In the case that the deceased person was underinsured or not insured at all, you may be able to file a claim against his or her estate to cover the remaining damages after any insurance policies are exhausted. Additionally, in cases where the driver isn't adequately insured, you may be protected under provisions within your own insurance policy called Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage. You should speak with a knowledgeable car accident lawyer about your specific case to understand the best available option for you.
How Does Filing Against an Estate Work?
If the deceased's insurance isn't sufficient to cover your losses, you may consider filing a claim against the deceased person's estate. An estate is the assets and property left behind after one's death. A process called probate will initiate how the deceased's established personal representative oversees the transfer of estate assets to heirs, debtors, and other associated parties. This can be a complex process, so it's best to get the advice of a car accident lawyer to help guide you throughout your personal injury timeline.
Contact Our Car Accident Lawyers
We're waiting to help you get the compensation you deserve and need to recover. To set up a free, no-obligation consultation with our car accident lawyers at Impact Legal, call or text us at 602-345-1818 . Additionally, you may fill out this online contact form, and we will reach out to you to schedule an appointment.
We hope that our online content will provide you with general information, but it is not intended to substitute legal advice. We recommend reaching out to a lawyer to inquire about your specific legal situation.