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Can I File A Claim For A Sarasota Auto Accident If The At-Fault Driver Passed Away?

Every year, around 3400 people die from car accidents in the state of Florida. In some cases, the accident victim is also who caused the accident. If you’re in an accident in Sarasota and the at-fault driver passed, you may be left with a lot of unanswered questions. Can you still file a claim for the accident? How do you file a claim? Will the claim be impacted by the at-fault driver’s death? Filing a claim against the deceased is more legally complicated than if they are alive. However, with the aid of a knowledgeable auto accident attorney, you won’t have to worry about paying for your injuries.

You Still Have A Case If The At-Fault Driver Passes

In Florida, auto accident injury claims are based on laws around negligence. If the at-fault driver passes, it does not cancel out the law. Further, Florida is known as a “no-fault” state. This means that all drivers are required to carry PIP to pay for injuries regardless of who is at fault. Furthermore, when determining fault in an accident, Florida courts and insurance companies use a system of comparative negligence. This is where they look at all the details of the accident and assign a percentage of fault to each party. Finally, auto accident claims are primarily between the injured party and the insurance company, the at-fault driver rarely pays out of pocket for the accident. With all of these considerations, you still have a viable claim in the state of Florida.

Filing Your Auto Accident Claim

You will file your claim the same way that you would file your claim if the at-fault driver was still with us. You will start by contacting your insurance company and informing them of the accident. They will then instruct you on the process of filing a claim. Even though the claim will be filed against the at-fault driver’s insurance, it is best practice in Florida to file with your first. That is because PIP coverages are not predicated on fault. This will start your claims process. The next step is to consult with an attorney. They will help you gather evidence, write a demand letter, and begin negotiations with the insurance company. Typically, a settlement will be negotiated to cover your damages and you would then receive compensation.

What Happens If Insurance Does Not Cover All The Damages?

Typically, all of the settlement negotiations will occur between your attorney and the insurance companies. However, sometimes people do not have enough insurance coverage to pay for all the damages they caused. In those cases, they will make up the difference out-of-pocket. However, if the at-fault driver is no longer with us, they cannot pay. In that case, you will have to pursue their estate for compensation. In that case, you and your attorney will go through the process of probate to help reconcile the difference.

Respecting the Deceased Family

The hardest part about pursuing a claim against a deceased at-fault driver is empathy for their family. Many of us understand how hard it is to lose someone important. We don’t want to burden them with a lawsuit while they are grieving. However, claims are mostly done through insurance companies and not with the family. It is only in very rare cases with severe and debilitating injuries that you will ever have to pursue probate. Then even, in that case, you will be dealing with attorneys and not directly with the family. What matters is that you get justice for your auto accident injuries.

Filing a claim when the at-fault driver has passed is a lot like filing any accident claim in Florida. You will file with the insurance companies, negotiate full and fair compensation, and get the resources you need to get back on your feet. The team at Justice Pays Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez, Murphy & Walsh have your back. We’ve taken on the most challenging auto accident cases in Sarasota, we can help you with yours. Contact us now for a free case review and learn how we will help you.

Michael J. Babboni's wide-ranging legal career is based on the strong belief that everyone should be treated fairly and have access to effective legal help. Michael began putting his beliefs in action by helping the people of St. Petersburg Florida get what they are owed in civil trials fighting to protect families by making corporations pay, and honor their obligations.

Can I File A Claim For A Sarasota Auto Accident If The At-Fault Driver Passed Away?

Goldman Babboni Fernandez
Murphy & Walsh

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