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When the At Fault Driver Dies

When an at-fault driver dies in an accident in Illinois, survivors can still recover compensation for their injuries and property damage. In some cases, this may require suing the estate if the driver was underinsured or uninsured. In Illinois, death does not end an individual’s liability for the personal injuries and property damage they caused as the result of an accident.

Steps to Take

Following an automobile accident, victims should contact their car insurance provider. Drivers should inform them of the accident and let them know that the driver cited for the accident died as a result of injuries.

Drivers should also seek prompt treatment for personal injuries and repairs for damage to the vehicle. This should never be delayed because the at-fault driver died in the accident. In both cases, it is advisable to go to medical and auto repair facilities that accept the individual’s respective health/automotive insurance.

Finally, motorists should keep thorough and accurate records of their finances, medical bills, and repair bills. These records should also include copies of the police reports, as well as any dash cam evidence or eyewitness statements collected at the time of the accident. Combined, this information creates a comprehensive record of the financial and physical impact the accident caused. It also firmly documents liability for the crash belongs to the at-fault driver who died in the accident.

The Other Driver’s Insurance

Filing a claim against the other driver’s insurance company will not affect his/her family. When the at-fault driver dies in the accident, it is still the insurance company’s responsibility to pay the claim. This will have no effect on the financial situation of the individual’s surviving family members.

Suing the Estate

Many motorists drive without sufficient insurance to cover the injuries or property damage an accident can cause. When this happens and the driver dies in the accident, the injured party may file a lawsuit and sue the driver’s estate. However, this must be done quickly and often far sooner than the statute of limitations for a personal injury lawsuit will expire.

Suing an estate is something that requires careful consideration. Most drivers with significant assets also carry hefty insurance policies to protect those assets. Those without significant assets are those who typically drive without insurance or with insufficient insurance coverage.

Years of Experience: More than 30 years
Illinois Registration Status Active
Bar & Court Admissions: Illinois State Bar Association – 1974-Present
Lake County Bar Association
Illinois Trial Lawyers Association
Lake County Bar Association Civil Trial and Appeals Committee
Federal Bar Association – Northern District of Illinois
Admitted to the Supreme Court of the United States – May 28, 1991

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