Car accidents involving death are difficult matters, even when it turns out that the deceased caused the accident. Some accident victims are somewhat confused as to what to do when a death is connected to their case. Events like this are always tragic and they can affect several aspects of a personal injury case.
Factors Affecting the Case
If the at-fault driver had valid auto insurance at the time of the accident, their insurance policy may still provide coverage for the damages and injuries resulting from the accident. In this case, the claim can proceed as usual, and the insurance company may step in to handle the settlement or legal process. When you take action in a case in which the driver is covered by insurance, you are seeking damages from their insurer and not the driver personally.
Insufficient insurance coverage
If the at-fault driver had inadequate insurance coverage or was uninsured, it can complicate the claims process. In such situations, the injured party may need to explore other options, such as their own uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage or pursuing a legal claim against other potentially liable parties, such as the vehicle owner or other involved entities.
If the at-fault driver passed away, their estate may become involved in the claims process. The estate could include assets, such as property or funds, that may be used to compensate the injured party for their damages. The injured party may need to file a claim against the estate or work with the executor or representative of the estate to seek compensation. Just as with a case in which the at-fault driver was not insured, victims may have rights to the deceased's property.
The death of the at-fault driver can introduce legal complexities and potential challenges in determining liability and pursuing a claim. It may require additional investigation or legal action to establish fault and prove the extent of the damages. After all, the case must proceed without the statements or testimony of the other driver.
It's important to consult with a personal injury attorney who specializes in car accidents to understand the specific laws and regulations in your area and to navigate the claims process effectively. They can guide you through the legal procedures, negotiate with insurance companies or other parties involved, and help protect your rights and interests. Speak to a personal injury auto accident attorney in your area to learn more.