Negligent drivers not only put others on the road in danger but also themselves. Sometimes these drivers cause crashes that claim their own lives, while the victim is left seriously injured.
Victims and their families may wonder how the at-fault driver’s death may impact their ability to seek compensation for their damages. They may even feel apprehensive about taking legal action out of respect for the deceased.
Greg Monforton and Partners explains legal options after a crash that claimed the life of the at-fault driver. Our Windsor-based auto accident lawyers are prepared to represent you throughout the legal process at no upfront cost. An initial legal consultation is also free.
Unsure if you may have a case? Contact us to learn more: (866) 320-4770.
Can Drivers Still Be Held Liable if They Are Deceased?
Although the driver died, he or she still bears responsibility for the injuries and damages that resulted from the accident. You still have the right to seek compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. The at-fault driver’s car insurance policy does not become null and void because he or she was fatally injured.
While the death of the at-fault driver should not affect your ability to pursue compensation, the death could affect your claim in other ways. This is one reason why it is critical to reach out to an experienced law firm for assistance with the legal process.
How These Types of Accidents Happen
There are many types of car accidents that could result in the at-fault driver’s death, such as drunk or impaired driving accidents. For example, a drunk driver might drive the wrong way while not wearing a seat belt. A head-on collision could easily cause this driver to go through the windshield and suffer fatal injuries.
Speeding is another potential culprit in a crash in which the at-fault driver loses his or her life. Speeding can make crashes much more dangerous, as it can strengthen the force of impact.
Some of the other reasons why the at-fault driver may lose his or her life in a crash include:
- Running through a red light or stop sign
- Driving while drowsy
- Driving while distracted
How Does an Insurance Claim or Lawsuit Affect the At-Fault Driver’s Loved Ones?
Some crash victims feel apprehensive about seeking compensation out of concern for the at-fault driver’s loved ones. Despite their injuries, crash victims do not want to feel like they are pursuing money from a family that is grieving the loss of their loved one.
However, it is unlikely the at-fault driver’s surviving loved ones will be involved in the legal process very much, if at all. Your lawyer will be dealing with the at-fault driver’s insurance company on your behalf. It is highly unlikely you would be seeking compensation from the deceased’s estate. The only way this would happen would be via a lawsuit, but if a lawsuit is filed the other party involved will probably be the deceased driver’s insurance company.
What if the At-Fault Driver is Uninsured?
Fortunately, you can seek compensation from the no-fault coverage in your own insurance policy no matter who is at fault. You can seek compensation for the cost of medical care, rehabilitation, lost income and even the cost of hiring a caregiver if your injuries have left you seriously disabled.
Your lawyer may also be able to seek compensation from the uninsured automobile coverage in your policy. This coverage applies to accidents in which the at-fault driver does not have insurance.
Challenges of Claims Involving an At-Fault Driver Who Passed Away
You might think this type of car accident claim would be easier because the at-fault driver is not around to dispute your account of events. The fact is this could make the legal process more complicated. The insurance company may say they have no way to substantiate your version of events.
However, there are many ways to prove what happened in a car crash. For example, there may be witnesses who can confirm what you said about the accident. The police report and your medical record can also back up your account of the incident.
Your lawyer could also bring in medical or accident reconstruction experts to explain how the crash occurred and why the deceased driver may be at fault. For example, reconstruction experts could detail the damage to the car and work backward to show why the collision occurred and link it to the other driver’s negligence.
Given the potential complexities and challenges of the legal process, you need a lawyer with a proven record of success. One who has dealt with insurance companies many times but is also prepared to go to court to secure the justice and compensation you need.
Hiring a lawyer can also help save you from making mistakes that could hurt your credibility and the strength of your case. For example, hiring a lawyer ensures you do not have to communicate with the insurance company unless it is necessary. Your lawyer can deal with the insurance company, which can help ensure any statements you make about the crash are consistent. This helps to protect your credibility.
There is limited time to take legal action, so it is vital that you contact an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. The sooner you call, the sooner a lawyer may be able to get to work to preserve evidence and thoroughly investigate the accident.
Contact Greg Monforton and Partners for Post-Crash Legal Help
Car crashes can cause devastating injuries that could affect you for quite a long time. Some victims will be dealing with their injuries for the rest of their lives.
Unfortunately, insurance companies do not see it as their responsibility to make sure crash victims receive full compensation for their damages. They try to find reasons to deny claims or pay far less than victims need.
Our lawyers have taken on insurance companies for decades, securing the compensation our clients need for their medical costs and other damages.
There are no upfront costs. Call us today for legal assistance: (866) 320-4770.