What happens if the other driver passes away after an Atlanta car accident? More than 1,500 people are killed in car accidents every year in Georgia. That makes them the 4th worst state in the country when it comes to traffic fatalities. In addition, there are more than 25,000 serious injuries suffered in Georgia car accidents.
Atlanta accident lawyers are involved in a number of these crashes and always do their best to get their clients justice. It can be hard when the other driver in the crash passes away. You almost feel guilty pursuing the insurance company for damages. However, you still need to do what you have to do. Otherwise, you’ll be left paying all of our medical bills yourself.
You’re Entitled to Damages if You Can Prove Negligence
Just because you were involved in a fatal crash doesn’t guarantee that you’ll receive damages. Your Atlanta accident lawyer will still have to prove negligence even though the other driver passed away. They’ll approach your case the same way they would any other car accident case. In order to prove negligence, your attorney will need to show the following:
- The other driver owed you a duty of care
- They breached this duty
- You were injured
- Your injuries were caused by the defendant’s breach
Because there is no defendant here, the language may be different. For example, your attorney will refer to the other driver as the deceased. Aside from that, however, nothing much changes. If they can prove all four (4) elements outlined above, you should receive the damages you deserve.
You’ll Have to Pursue the Insurance Company
As with any other motor vehicle accident, your first avenue of redress is to file a claim against the driver’s insurance policy. Hopefully, they had insurance. But you have to remember that the driver’s family may also be filing a claim of their own. They have no way to know what happened out there on the road that day.
They’re going to assume that their loved one was an innocent victim. If the insurance company pays out one party, they aren’t going to pay the other as well. This is why it’s important that you waste no time reaching out to an experienced Atlanta accident lawyer.
Your Atlanta Accident Lawyer May Need to Pursue the Driver’s Estate
If the other driver had insurance, there’s a chance that they’ll cover your damage. If they do and your claim is paid, great. You’ll get a check within a week or two. If they didn’t have insurance, or if their policy doesn’t cover your damages, you may have to pursue the driver’s estate. This is a worst-case scenario.
Your Atlanta accident lawyer understands that the family of the other driver is grieving. The last thing they want to do is make it worse by filing a lawsuit against the estate. But if that’s the only recourse you have, then you don’t have much choice. You can’t pay all of the medical bills and repair bills out of pocket.
The Insurance Company May Dispute the Claim
When both drivers are alive to give their version of what happened, the insurance company can weigh both sides and make their decision. When one of the drivers passes away, they aren’t there to tell their story. This means the insurance company must deduce what happened from the surrounding evidence.
Of course, they have the same information as your Atlanta accident lawyer. They have the police report and any eyewitness statements. They’ll also have any pictures of the accident scene. In a way, this may make it seem more likely that your claim will be approved. The truth is that the insurance company may choose to take more time to investigate the claim before they decide to pay anything.
Call and Talk to an Experienced Atlanta Accident Lawyer
If you get into an accident and the other driver passes away, you’re going to feel terrible. Even if you didn’t cause the accident, this can be pretty traumatic. However, that can’t stop you from pursuing damages for your injuries. Once the dust settles, you need to call and talk to an experienced Atlanta accident lawyer.
Sit down and explain what happened. Bring whatever documentation you have to your free, initial consultation. Your Atlanta accident lawyer will find out who you need to pursue. You may be lucky and find out the insurance company will pay your claim without issue. If that isn’t the case, then you should consider calling a lawyer right away.