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What If the At-Fault Driver Dies After a Car Accident?

At-Fault DriverA car accident injury can turn your life completely upside down in mere seconds. If the driver who caused the collision has passed away in the accident, you may be concerned that you will not be able to obtain compensation for your own injuries and damages that you suffered as a result of the incident.

Here’s what you need to know about how an experienced New Hampshire and Massachusetts car accident attorney can help you file an insurance claim or lawsuit after being hurt in a collision caused by someone who is no longer living.

The At-Fault Driver’s Survival Won’t Impact Their Liability

Any deaths that occur as a result of the accident have no bearing on determining how the accident occurred and who was at fault. Regardless of how the accident victims were injured or killed, reconstructionists will still piece together every step of the accident to find out what happened.

The at fault driver does not need to survive in order to be named as the liable party or to obtain compensation in a personal injury lawsuit. While serving justice is less of a concern if the at-fault person has died, victims of an accident caused by a negligent party still deserve to be compensated for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Your Claim Will Be Processed Through the Driver’s Insurance or Their Estate

If the driver had motor vehicle insurance, you will file a claim with their carrier just as you would if they had not died in the accident. The insurer will evaluate the claim to determine if the accident is covered and if so, how much you will be paid as a result of the damages you sustained. Once you and the insurer agree or a judge orders a settlement, the check will be cut and the drivers account closed.

However, insurance companies have to deny claims in order to make a profit. In the event that the company will not continue getting monthly insurance payments from a deceased policyholder, they may work even harder to find a reason why your claim should be denied. You may also be able to bring a lawsuit against the deceased person’s estate in order to obtain adequate compensation for the harm you have suffered.

Filing a Claim With Your Own Car Insurance Company

If the driver who caused the accident was uninsured or underinsured, you may need to file a claim with your own insurance company. This depends on if you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.

If you do, your own insurance company will have to compensate you up to your maximum policy limits. If your injuries and other damages exceed the policy limits of the other driver and you do not have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, you may be left with medical bills you can’t pay and lost wages that you cannot get reimbursed for.

The Benefits of Hiring a Car Accident Lawyer When a Driver Dies

Dealing with a car accident claim is difficult enough when the other driver is still alive. If they have died in the collision, obtaining the full and fair financial compensation you deserve automatically becomes exponentially more difficult. Hiring an experienced car accident attorney can give you the resources needed to navigate this unique challenge.

Here are some benefits of working with a lawyer should the at-fault party be deceased:

  • You won’t have to interact with the deceased’s family. If the other driver died in the accident, their family members may try to pressure you not to pursue restitution on principle.
  • Your lawyer will handle communication with the other driver’s insurance company. Insurers can be ruthless and your lawyer will be able to field these calls and emails more easily.
  • You will be able to focus on your own medical issues and recovery. Instead of spending time making phone calls and dealing with post-accident red tape, you can focus on your healing and medical care.

Were You Injured In a Collision Caused By a Driver That Is Now Deceased?

If you or a family member were hurt in a car accident caused by a driver who is now deceased, you may still be able to obtain compensation for your hospital bills, time spent out of work, and emotional and physical suffering. At Mazow | McCullough, PC, we can provide you with the comprehensive legal advocacy you need after a devastating car accident.

Contact our office today for more information or to schedule a free initial consultation by dialing (978) 744-8000 or toll free at (855) 693-9084. Serving Boston, Salem, and surrounding Metropolitan areas in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

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