When a car accident happens and the at-fault driver dies, it may feel wrong to file a lawsuit. However, you may be facing your own medical and car repair bills as a result of the crash. Filing a claim, in this case, is necessary and isn’t any different than filing a claim when both drivers survive.
West Virginia is an at-fault state which means every driver must be insured. When a driver causes an accident, that driver is responsible for any claims you may need to make as a result of their negligence, even if that driver did not survive.
You can file a claim just like you normally would
Even though the other driver didn’t survive, their insurance company is still required to do its part and cover your losses, so you can file a claim the same way that you would after any other motor vehicle accident.
It’s important, however, to realize that your claim is limited by the value of their insurance policy. If your injuries are relatively minor, there may be more than enough money available to provide fair compensation for your losses. If your injuries are severe, the insurance might not be enough to meet your needs.
What if there isn’t enough insurance to cover my bills?
If the insurance is not enough to cover your bills stemming from the accident, you can file a claim against the deceased’s estate. This would enter into the probate process. This means that the court would pay you out of the assets and funds from the estate if your lawsuit is successful.
Often, the victims in these kinds of accidents file a lawsuit as quickly as possible precisely because they know they may have to file a claim against the deceased’s estate. If they wait, the probate process could be over and the deceased’s assets unobtainable.
Either way, trying to recover from a devastating accident is both physically and financially difficult. Seeking out experienced legal guidance might be your best option.