If you suffered injuries or losses because of someone else’s negligence, you may have the legal right to bring a claim to receive both economic and non-economic damages. However, in some cases, the liable party dies as a result of the accident or during the process of filing a legal claim. Learn more about what your options are regarding filing a lawsuit against a deceased defendant.
The Estate of the Deceased Defendant
If you experienced any type of personal injury that resulted in injuries or losses due to someone else’s carelessness or recklessness, you have a right to become whole and receive both justice and compensation. However, if the negligent party dies, you cannot sue them directly. However, you do have the right as a victim to file a claim against their estate, which is the remaining assets that they leave behind when they die.
Motion for Scire Fascias Substitution
A motion for scire fascias substitution is a legal action that specifically requests that the court substitute a party as a representative for the deceased party’s estate. If the negligent party dies either at the scene of the car accident (or any other type of accident) or prior to filing the lawsuit, the party that will be held responsible and liable to compensate the victim will be the deceased’s estate. In some cases, there may already be a probate case pending. If this is the case, then the victim has the legal option to either intervene in that probate case or file a different and separate civil case along with the motion for scire fascias substitution.
Finding the Executor of the Deceased Defendant’s Estate
One of the other challenges may be finding the executor (representative) of the deceased defendant’s estate. If the deceased person has their estate going through the probate process, this may be easier; however, there are instances where there is no case in the probate court which makes it more challenging to find the executor of the estate.
Legal Challenges Against a Deceased Defendant
There are several complex legal challenges that may occur when a victim files a lawsuit against a deceased defendant. Because there is an inability to interview the defendant regarding the accident, a great deal of information or evidence may be lost due to. Additionally, finding the executor of the deceased defendant’s estate can also prove challenging. Finally, a victim will have to navigate not only a personal injury case but, in some cases, the probate process to winning compensation for their injuries and losses resulting from someone else’s negligence.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
Our experienced attorneys at The Law Office of Daniel H. Rose can navigate both the personal injury portion of your claim as well as the probate portions of this potential lawsuit. It is important to consider visiting with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible due to the complexity and challenge of cases where the defendant has died. If you suffered injuries or losses related to another person’s negligence who has since died, consider visiting with our personal injury attorneys and legal team at 415-946-8900 or online today.