Fatal car accidents are an unfortunate reality in Texas, resulting in 3,610 deaths in 2019 alone. When a person dies in a car crash because of another driver’s negligence, the family members left behind by the deceased can choose to pursue a wrongful death claim against the at-fault driver to recover compensation. However, there are plenty of cases in which the at-fault driver dies in the accident or afterward. If you have been injured in an accident with another driver who is no longer living, you may be wondering what this means for your personal injury case.
Recovering Compensation From a Deceased Defendant
Fortunately, the death of the negligent party in a car crash does not make it impossible for other injury victims to obtain compensation for their damages. According to Texas law, a personal injury or wrongful death claim can be initiated against a deceased person’s estate if there would have been grounds for a claim against the person while they were living. This applies to cases in which the defendant dies before the claim is filed, as well as cases in which the defendant dies while the claim is pending, whether due to complications from the accident or any other reason.
That said, filing or continuing a claim against a deceased defendant can be complicated. In these cases, the estate executor or administrator for the deceased will act as the defendant, and this means that it may be necessary to review local probate court records to determine the appropriate party who will stand in. This may delay the proceedings, but an experienced attorney can help you determine the best course of action to move forward as efficiently as possible....