Going through a car accident can be a life-changing experience. While some damages cannot be covered with monetary compensation, it does give some sense of justice. However, things can take a complicated turn when the at-fault driver dies.
If you have been injured in Los Angeles in an accident and the other driver has died, you may have many questions. One of your questions may be whether you can still file a claim. The answer is yes, you can. However, the process will be complex, and you will probably require the assistance of an attorney.
Do you have a case if the other driver has died?
Los Angeles, California law states that the responsible party must pay for the damages of the victims. Therefore, it follows the at-fault rule. Even if the person solely or partially responsible for the accident dies, you can still file a claim to retrieve compensation.
In this type of case, the victims are often hesitant to file a claim, given the deceased person’s family’s condition. Accident victims may hesitate to pursue a claim thinking that their family is still mourning their death. However, when you file a claim, you do not generally interact with the family members.
If you are worried about disturbing the deceased person’s loved ones, you do not have to worry. You will mostly be dealing with their insurance company representing the person.
What if the dead person does not have insurance?
California state law requires people who drive to retain insurance. However, there are many people who drive without one. If the deceased person does not have adequate or any insurance at all, your attorney can file a claim with their estate. You have the option to seek compensation from a part of their estate.
What if the deceased person does have enough assets in their estate?
It may happen that the at-fault deceased person does not have enough insurance or assets to pay off your compensation. In such a case, you may have no option but to file a claim through your own uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. The UI/UIM coverage is for when the other party cannot pay your damages.
However, you can only obtain this if you have it on your insurance policy. This is usually not mandatory and is an add-on to a basic policy. Moreover, this coverage only covers economic damages like medical bills and property damage. It does not cover non-economic damages like loss of enjoyment of life, loss of companionship, etc.