Can You Sue a Dead Person After an Accident?
January 14, 2019 | Car Accidents
Car accidents can be stressful to deal with but become even more difficult to deal with when someone that is involved is injured or killed. If you have been involved in a car accident where the at-fault driver was killed, it’s important to act quickly and contact your lawyer to discuss your potential rights to recover compensation.
Can I Sue the Family of a Dead Person After an Accident?
It’s a sad truth that some car accidents end in death. If the driver that is at fault for an accident that you’ve been involved in is dead, you can still recover damages for the accident. When someone dies, all of their estates and assets will be accounted for and will go into probate to be assessed. Most of the time this will be split up between the deceased’s beneficiaries, but in your case, you would become apart of this process to recover damages. Once the probate process is over, you would receive your damages for the accident from the proceeds of the deceased’s assets and estate.
How Can I Prove That a Deceased Driver was At Fault in an Accident?
It is always essential to involve your lawyer when an accident happens, but it is especially the case for accidents involving an at-fault, deceased driver. Your fatal car accident lawyer has the experience needed to preserve any evidence you’ve provided from the accident and help you collect copies of the police and medical reports. Once these pieces of evidence from the accident are collected from you by your lawyer, your lawyer will use these to help you write a powerful demand letter that states:
- What damages you plan on claiming
- The amounts you expect to receive for damages
- Why you have the right to claim these damages (the other driver was at fault – this is where the evidence comes in handy)
The demand letter that your lawyer will help you write will accompany your insurance claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company. If the other driver is deceased, it is important to have a powerful demand letter that can prove that your claim is valid. With the at-fault driver being deceased, it is your word against theirs and this may allow for the insurance company to question your claim. If a demand letter is powerful and backed up by substantial evidence this leaves little room for doubt from the insurance company when you’re seeking damages for an accident.
What Damages Can I Recover for an Accident Where the Other Driver is Dead?
Much like a car accident that doesn’t involve a deceased, at-fault driver, the damages that you are eligible to claim from an accident can vary. It’s critical to collect as much evidence as possible after an accident, get contact information and insurance information for the deceased’s spouse or family, and speak with your lawyer about your intent to seek damages. If you suffered injuries from the accident, damage to your vehicle or belongings inside the vehicle, pain, and suffering or medical expenses from the accident, and more, you could be eligible to recover damages including:
- Pain and suffering damages for mental or physical distress from the accident
- Cost to fix or replace your vehicle or belongings in your vehicle that were damaged in the accident
- Medical expenses for any treatment, ambulance fees or medical accessories that had to be purchased to treat your injuries from the accident
- Lost wages for any lost work hours or other income that occurred because of your injuries from the accident
- Loss of affection – if your spouse feels that your injuries have caused a lack of affection or other change in your relationship because of your injuries, they can claim loss of consortium damages
Speak with a Fatal Car Accident Lawyer About Your Rights to Compensation
The aftermath of an accident can be chaotic and stressful but consulting a fatal car accident lawyer about your case can make the process easier. Your experienced lawyer has surely handled a case similar to yours at some point and will be able to do everything in their power to negotiate with the other party’s insurance company for the most compensation. If you don’t have a lawyer and need one but don’t think that you can afford to pay for a lawyer’s services, don’t worry. The Dixon Injury Firm offers free consultations and uses a contingency plan which means that you won’t have to pay for our services unless our attorneys receive compensation for your case. If you are ready to discuss your fatal car accident case with our lawyers, contact the Dixon Injury Firm today to schedule a free consultation.