The Process Of Recovering Compensation For Your Personal Injury Claim When The Liable Driver Is Deceased
When the driver who was responsible for a car accident dies in the crash, the victim who survived may be wondering if it’s still possible to file a personal injury claim. Filing a claim against a deceased driver is more complicated than filing a claim against a living driver, especially if the claim turns into a lawsuit, but your Las Vegas personal injury lawyer can help you through the complex process of recovering the compensation you need for your injuries.
How Do I File a Claim If The At-Fault Driver Died?
Compensation claims after car accidents usually come down to whether the other driver’s negligence directly resulted in your damages, so whether the other driver survived the crash is not generally relevant to your claim and your injuries.
Nevada, like many other states, is an at-fault state, which means that car accident victims can work with their Las Vegas car accident lawyer to file a claim for compensation of damages after an accident. Because the claim is filed with the liable person’s insurance company, the at-fault driver is seldom directly involved. This means it’s possible to file a claim whether the at-fault driver lived or died.
Most of the time, personal injury claims after car accidents are settled with negotiation between your personal injury attorney and the insurance company’s agent, so the death of the at-fault driver will not affect your compensation claim. The exception is when the insurance company refuses to offer a satisfactory settlement, in which case a lawsuit may become necessary. This is when things can become more complicated.
Filing a Lawsuit Against a Deceased Driver
If the at-fault party’s insurance company refuses to work with you to provide a reasonable settlement even with the necessary evidence of your damages, you may choose to work with your Las Vegas car accident attorney to file a lawsuit against the deceased party’s estate.
This is where compensation claims after car accidents differ when the person died rather than survived. If you file a claim against a driver who survived the car accident, your lawsuit would be against that person and ultimately paid out by their insurance company. But if the person is deceased, your lawsuit is against their estate. The deceased person’s insurance company would be the defendant in the case and pay the damage, but the question may be whether there is enough insurance to make the payment.
What If There Is Not Enough Insurance To Cover My Damages?
If there is not enough insurance to make a sufficient settlement for your damages, the deceased person’s estate may need to pay the balance. This typically requires going through probate court. This can significantly delay the amount of time it takes to receive compensation for your damages, but an experienced injury attorney can help you file the claim through probate court and obtain the compensation you need to cover your damages.
What About The Deceased Driver’s Family?
Car accident victims who pursue compensation for their damages are often understandably hesitant to file an insurance claim or lawsuit when the driver died in the accident out of concern for the driver’s surviving family, but it’s important to realize that your legal right to pursue financial compensation does not die just because the at-fault driver did not survive. Whether you file a claim or need to file a lawsuit, you will be dealing with the driver’s insurance company and not with the family of the deceased driver.
Your injuries after a car accident can result in significant medical bills – in fact, one of the leading causes of filing bankruptcy is medical bills after a car accident – and other losses, such as lost time at work and lost income, ongoing injuries or pain that may require extensive treatment and surgeries, PTSD or other emotional challenges, property damage, and more. After a severe car accident, some people are unable to live normal lives, may be physically unable to work in their profession, might require continual care and assistance for daily responsibilities, or suffer disfigurement. Choosing not to pursue the compensation you need for these losses could result in serious financial complications in your future.
We Are Ready To Help You – Call Our Experienced Las Vegas PI Law Firm Today!
If you’ve been the victim of a car accident in Nevada, the attorneys at Benson & Bingham Accident Injury Lawyers are ready to help you pursue the compensation you need to cover your expenses and get your life back on track, even if the at-fault driver did not survive the collision. Our lawyers will provide respectful, compassionate, and assertive representation for your insurance claim and will be by your side every step of the way. Schedule your free consultation with us today.