Car crashes can be incredibly dangerous, putting all those involved at risk for serious injuries. Even though many newer vehicles have a variety of safety features, another driver’s negligence could overcome all of that.
Sometimes the driver who causes a crash does not survive, such as if he or she was drunk, driving at an excessive speed, or driving in the wrong direction. The driver and other occupants of the other vehicle who survive the crash may be apprehensive about seeking compensation. Even though they are injured and have suffered damages, they do not want to be taking legal action against someone who died.
Below, we discuss legal options if the driver who caused your crash died. We are committed to securing maximum compensation for your damages. Our Lafayette vehicle crash lawyers know compensation cannot change what happened, but compensation is an important part of moving forward after a crash.
Schedule a free legal consultation today. We are ready to help you and there are no upfront fees.
Call Galloway Jefcoat to learn more: (337) 984-8020.
How Do You Seek Compensation if the At-Fault Driver Has Died?
Whether the at-fault driver dies in the crash itself or afterward, you can file a claim for compensation. While the at-fault driver is liable for damages, almost all car crash claims are filed with the at-fault driver’s car insurance. The policy still applies because the driver was alive when the crash happened.
What this means is you are not going to be dealing with the deceased driver’s estate or his or her surviving family members. Surviving family members are most likely not going to be involved in the legal process at all.
There is no need to feel like you are trying to take money from the family of someone who just died. You are seeking compensation from the deceased’s insurance policy.
If your damages exceed the value of the at-fault driver’s liability insurance, you may be able to seek compensation from your uninsured motorist coverage.
Technically, it may be possible to seek compensation from the estate of the deceased driver. However, it is unlikely this would be necessary, and the deceased’s estate may not have enough compensation to cover your damages.
In a claim against the deceased’s estate, you would be dealing with the attorney of the deceased’s legal representative assigned to manage the estate. However, if the deceased did not have a will, his or her estate may go into probate. If you needed to make a claim against the estate, you would become a creditor making a claim against the estate.
You may be concerned that the family would be involved if you filed a lawsuit. However, this is not true. The insurance company and its attorneys would be on the other side of a lawsuit.
Challenges of Claims Where the At-Fault Driver Died
It may be a challenge to build a case because the at-fault driver cannot give a statement about what happened. In other words, it is your word against no one’s word. The insurance company may use this as a reason to try to deny or undervalue your claim.
However, there are other forms of evidence besides statements from the at-fault driver. The driver’s negligence may have been clear at the scene. That means the police report may be more likely to assign fault to the at-fault driver. For example, if he or she was drunk or driving the wrong way. Witnesses may also be able to corroborate your account of the crash.
It is possible to analyze the damage to the vehicles involved to determine what happened. For example, the location and severity of damage could indicate the type of crash and how fast the vehicles were traveling when the collision occurred.
It is important to contact a lawyer as soon as possible so he or she can get to work on your claim. The insurance company will be looking for any way to deny compensation, so you need someone in your corner working for your interests.
Contact Galloway Jefcoat For Help After a Crash
Tragically, some crashes result in loss of life. If you were involved in a crash in which the at-fault driver died, talking to an experienced lawyer can be an important step.
The licensed attorneys at Galloway Jefcoat are ready to discuss your situation in a free consultation. If we find you have a valid case, there are no upfront fees for our services. There is also no obligation to hire our firm after meeting with us.
Millions Recovered. No upfront fees. Call (337) 984-8020.