If the At-Fault Driver Died in the Accident, Can I Still File a Claim?

filing a claim after a fatal car accidentFatal car accidents are devastating for everyone involved. When someone dies in a car accident as a result of another person’s negligence, loved ones may be able to pursue damages against the at-fault driver.

However, when the at-fault driver doesn’t survive the accident, the claim process can become more complex. When a negligent driver dies in the collision, affected parties may still be eligible for compensation.

Do I Have a Case?

Because California is an at-fault state, the insurance company of the responsible party must pay damages. Even if the person who caused the crash died, his or her insurance policy is liable for injuries to you or damage to your property.

If the negligent driver did not have insurance or had inadequate limits, you may have the option to seek damages from the deceased person’s estate, however, the process becomes more complicated. Our car accident lawyers in Sacramento can review your claim at no cost to see if we may be able to help you.

Concerns for At-Fault Driver’s Family

Car accident fatalities are especially difficult for the family who lost a loved one. Accident victims may hesitate about pursuing a claim when the negligent dies in the accident, knowing their family members must be mourning.

However, when filing a personal injury claim, you generally do not interact with the individuals involved and will not be disturbing the decedent’s loved ones. You will be dealing with the insurance company representing that person.

Filing a Claim Against the Insurance Policy

The at-fault driver’s insurance policy has a central role in the personal injury claims process, even if the person died in the car accident.

For instance, if you were involved in an accident that was caused by a drunk driver who then died from injuries sustained in the crash, you can still file a claim against that person’s insurance policy for any damages to your property or any injuries to you or your passengers.

Our licensed attorneys are prepared to help walk you through the claims process and help you maximize your compensation.

Filing a Claim Against the Estate

Although most personal injury claims do not make it to trial, if the at-fault driver dies and the insurance company does not offer enough compensation to cover your damages, it may be necessary to file a lawsuit against the negligent driver’s estate.

An estate is the property and assets a person leaves behind after death and it is represented by a relative of the decedent. A personal relative may be a spouse, child or parent. If the deceased has no surviving family members, the person who would inherit the deceased’s property represents the estate.

Just as our attorneys are prepared to help you through the claims process, our lawyers are prepared to walk you through the process of filing a lawsuit as well as go to trial on your behalf.

Call a Compassionate Attorney Today

At the Arnold Law Firm, we understand the emotional distress caused by a fatal car accident. Know that if you choose to hire our firm to represent you through the claims process, our attorneys will work hard to try and recover the compensation you need.

Our initial consultation is free, and we work on a contingency fee basis. This means we do not charge anything upfront while we build your case, and you do not pay us anything unless we obtain compensation on your behalf.

Let us answer your questions. Call us today at (916) 777-7777