What should I do, if I was in a serious car accident and now the defendant has passed away?

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What should I do, if I was in a serious car accident and now the defendant has passed away?

I was in a car accident 2 years ago. The other driver was at fault; he was cited. Since then he has passed away. What should I do next? Will I be able to collect for my medical? I don’t know what to

Asked on December 27, 2011 under Accident Law, Nevada

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Since two years have elapsed since the accident, you should have completed your medical treatment and been released by the doctor or declared by the doctor to be permanent and stationary which means you have reached a point where no further improvement is anticipated.  Your personal injury claim which should have been filed with the other driver's insurance carrier should have included your medical bills, medical reports and documentation of any wage loss.  Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of your injuries and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  If the case had been settled with the insurance company, NO lawsuit is filed.  If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the insurance company, reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit for negligence against the at-fault driver/registered owner of the vehicle (if registered owner is someone other than the at-fault driver).

Since the at-fault party is now deceased, you will need to file your lawsuit for negligence against his estate.  You should file your lawsuit immediately because the statute of limitations may be imminent.  If you don't file your lawsuit prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations, you will lose your rights forever in the matter.  A lawsuit can be filed in the state where you live or in the state where the at-fault party lived or where the claim arose.  If the statute of limitations has expired in the state where you live, you can still file in the state where the at-fault party lived (assuming that is different from your state) or in the state where the accident occurred (assuming that is a different state).

The statute of limitations varies from state to state.


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