Do I have to open an estate to sue insurance company regarding a personal injury case and the defendant has died?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Do I have to open an estate to sue insurance company regarding a personal injury case and the defendant has died?

I’m getting ready to file complaint and I discovered defendant died, not related to the accident. There is no estate and his 2 adult children only survivors and he died intestate have no reason to open one. Were only going after the limits of his auto insurance policy so do I have to open an estate or can I just serve the complaint to the insurance company?

Asked on June 17, 2019 under Personal Injury, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

You can't open an estate for the deceased--only someone who would inherit from him or was named as executor can do this. A stranger to the deceased, who only wanted to sue him or her, has no right to open an estate. 
If there is no estate, you cannot sue--there is nothing to sue. If you cannot sue, while you could certainly ask the insurer to pay your claim, if they refuse to do so, you can't force them to: you are not their insured, they have no obligation to you, and when they choose to not voluntarily pay, the only way to force them to pay would be to sue their insured and win--which you cannot do. This appears to simply be a situation where you cannot recover anything due to the circumstances.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption