Each year, approximately 3400 people die in car accidents in the state of Florida. In some cases, the accident victim is also the one who caused the accident. If you are involved in an accident in Sarasota and the driver at fault is deceased, you may find yourself with many unanswered questions. Can you still file a claim for the accident? How to file a complaint? Will the claim be affected by the death of the driver at fault? Filing a claim against the deceased is more complicated legally than if he is alive. However, with the help of a knowledgeable car accident attorney, you won’t have to worry about paying for your injuries.
You still have a case if the offending driver passes
In Florida, car accident claims are based on theaws around negligence. If the offending driver passes, that does not invalidate the law. Additionally, Florida is known as a “no fault” state. This means that all drivers are required to carry PIP to pay for injuries, regardless of who is at fault. In addition, when determining fault in an accident, Florida courts and insurance companies use a system of comparative negligence. This is where they go over all the details of the accident and assign a percentage of fault to each party. Finally, auto accident claims are mostly between the injured party and the insurance company, the offending driver rarely pays out of pocket for the accident. With all of these considerations, you still have a viable claim in the state of Florida.
Filing your auto accident claim
You will file your claim in the same way as you would if the driver at fault was still with us. You will start by contacting your insurance company and informing them of the accident. They will then tell you the process for filing a claim. Even though the claim will be filed with the at-fault driver’s insurance, it’s best in Florida to file the case with your first. It’s because PIP Covers are not based on fault. This will initiate your claims process. The next step is to consult a lawyer. They will help you gather evidence, write a formal notice and start negotiations with the insurance company. Typically, a settlement will be negotiated to cover your damages and you will then receive compensation.
What happens if the insurance does not cover all the damage?
Generally, all settlement negotiations will take place between your attorney and the insurance companies. However, sometimes people do not have enough insurance coverage to pay for all the damage they have caused. In these cases, they will make up the difference out of pocket. However, if the offending driver is no longer with us, he cannot pay. In this case, you will have to sue their estate for compensation. In this case, you and your attorney will go through the probate process to help reconcile the difference.
Respect for the deceased family
The hardest part of pursuing a claim against a deceased at-fault driver is empathy for their family. Many of us understand how difficult it is to lose someone important. We don’t want to burden them with a lawsuit while they mourn. However, claims are mostly made through insurance companies and not with family. Only in very rare cases of serious and debilitating injuries will you need to apply for probate. Even then, in this case, you will be dealing with lawyers and not directly with the family. What matters is that you get justice for the injuries you suffered in a traffic accident.
File a claim when the driver at fault is dead, it’s a bit like filing an accident claim in Florida. You’ll file with insurance companies, negotiate full and fair compensation, and get the resources you need to get back on your feet. The Justice Pays Goldman, Babbani, Fernandez, Murphy & Walsh team has your back. We’ve taken on the toughest auto accident cases in Sarasota, we can help you with yours. Contact us now for a free case review and find out how we can help you.