Here in the United States, car accidents are sadly common. Even a minor accident can have a serious impact on your life, and serious crashes can cause serious injuries or even death. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which just released data from 2017, 4,889 large trucks or buses were involved in crashes that year and 4,761 fatalities were recorded. This is a 9% increase from 2016, and if the trend continues, when the results come out for 2018, the numbers may prove to be higher and the numbers may continue to increase in 2019. Despite advanced safety features for cars, trucks, and buses these days, there are any number of factors that contribute to crashes: distracted driving, speeding, impairment, etc.
This is not to say that the drivers of large trucks or buses are the sole cause of crashes. On June 18, 2019, a 57-year-old man driving an older model Saturn on Route RW near Lloyd, NY, crossed the center line and crashed into a large cargo van that was carrying five senior citizens. The driver of the Saturn was killed, and all five of the senior citizens and the cargo van driver were transported to a nearby medical facility for medical treatment. Of the cargo van passengers, one sustained serious injuries and was sent to the ICU, but the rest only suffered minor injuries. According to a police officer with the Lloyd Police Department, there was no obvious criminal or medical reason why the driver of the Saturn crossed into oncoming traffic.
For those who were injured in the crash, they could sue to seek monetary compensation for their injuries and pain or suffering, but what recourse do they have since the at-fault driver died? While there are no easy answers, there are a few options that could be pursued.
Filing a Claim with a Deceased Driver's Insurance
Just because the at-fault driver died in the accident, those who were injured will still have medical bills to pay and a long road of recovery ahead of them. Filing a claim with the at-fault driver will be handled by the applicable insurance company and will not take money away from the deceased's surviving family--any money rewarded will come from the applicable insurance policy. The personal injury attorneys at Ryan Roach & Ryan, LLP can provide information on the claims process and educate a person on their rights and responsibilities as an accident victim.
Suing a Deceased Driver's Estate
An estate is any property, money, and/or debts that are left behind after a person dies. When someone with an estate dies, there will most likely be a probate period to take inventory of the deceased's assets and to determine if there are any claims or debts to be paid before the remaining assets are transferred to any beneficiaries. Like the victims in the accident mentioned above, the cargo van passengers could be considered potential creditors of the deceased's estate. These matters require timely investigation and in some cases the filing of a probate claim against the estate through the Surrogate's Court.
Ryan Roach & Ryan, LLP, Personal Injury Lawyers in Kingston
The attorneys at Ryan Roach & Ryan, LLP have years of experience in personal injury litigation and defending the rights of their clients. If you have been injured in an accident that was no fault of your own and you need help covering your medical bills or recovering your old life as it was before the accident, you should call 800-901-2525 immediately. Located in Kingston, NY, and serving the entire Hudson Valley area, Ryan Roach & Ryan will make every effort to get you the compensation you deserve.