Can a child somehow be responsible for damages caused by a deceased parent?

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Can a child somehow be responsible for damages caused by a deceased parent?

My wife’s absentee father recently passed away and we have received notice by mail that someone is attempting to sue his last wife, as well as his daughters, for damages from a 3 year old car accident.

Asked on March 29, 2013 under Accident Law, Alaska

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Sorry to hear about your father-in-law.

Your wife and your father-in-law's last wife are not personally liable for the auto accident if they were not the registered owners of the vehicle your father-in-law was driving.  They were named in the letter you received because your father-in-law's estate is liable for damages from the auto accident in which he was at fault.  The lawsuit should be against his estate.  It would be advisable to contact the auto insurance company  your father-in-law had at the time of the accident.  The auto insurance company might provide an attorney at no cost; however, that might not occur in this case since it involves the estate.  If the auto insurance company doesn't provide an attorney, then it would be advisable to speak with a probate attorney.

The lawsuit is being filed at this time because there is a three year statute of limitations in Alaska for filing a lawsuit in an auto accident case.


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