How to Sue a Deceased Person’s Estate
By Chris Dixon
If the person responsible for your injuries or financial losses is deceased, you could still be eligible to recover damages. Typically, victims are eligible to sue a deceased person’s estate to recover compensation for their harm and losses; however, it can be difficult to prove the deceased person’s liability. Hiring an experienced lawyer to represent your case offers valuable information on how to sue a deceased person’s estate, provides support during the process, and ensures that you are eligible to recover the most compensation possible for your family member’s wrongful death.
When Can I Sue the Estate of Deceased Person?
When the liable party in an accident is deceased, it can make the process of recovering damages more difficult, but certainly not impossible. If you are seeking damages from someone that is deceased, there is a series of steps to follow, including hiring a lawyer, gathering evidence of the deceased’s negligence, and filing a compelling claim with the other party’s insurance company. Though it might seem like the victim’s debts would automatically fall to their surviving family members, when a person dies, their assets and liabilities are settled via their estate during probate. The deceased’s assets are totaled up, and their debts are subtracted from this sum before the remaining assets are dispersed to the victim’s descendants.
If you were injured in an accident where the liable party is deceased, you could be eligible to file a claim against the deceased’s estate with the help of an experienced wrongful death lawyer. Having a lawyer by your side is beneficial in various ways, including when gathering evidence, filing a claim against the deceased, and negotiating with the deceased’s executor of the estate to recover compensation for your family’s harm and losses.
How Long Do I Have to Sue a Deceased Person’s Estate?
If you suffered injuries or financial losses in an accident that was caused by someone that is now deceased, you could be entitled to recover compensation, but there is a time frame in which you must file a claim for it to be valid. The amount of time that victims have to sue a deceased person’s estate varies in each state, so it’s essential to keep in mind that the amount of time you have to file a claim against a person’s estate isn’t the same as the time frame for wrongful death claims.
For example, in the State of Missouri, the Wrongful Death Statute for claims is up to three years after the accident happened, but the time frame for suing a deceased person’s estate is six months after the person’s death as stated in Missouri’s Wrongful Death Laws (473.360). It can be difficult to keep track of the elements involved with filing a claim against a deceased person’s estate, and it’s often a lengthy and challenging process, but an experienced lawyer can streamline the process and relieve the stress of filing a claim to obtain damages.
What Damages Can I Recover By Suing a Deceased Person’s Estate?
The process of suing a deceased person’s estate can be challenging to understand, especially if you are recovering from injuries or financial losses, but a lawyer can streamline the process, determine if you can sue for damages, and figure out what type of damages you could be eligible to recover by suing the deceased person’s estate. The most common types of damages that can be recovered by suing a deceased person’s estate include:
- Medical expenses that were caused by the deceased’s negligence
- Lost wages that you experienced because of the accident
- Emotional or mental distress that accompanies physical injuries from the accident
- Property damage or other out-of-pocket expenses caused by the deceased
- If your spouse feels that there has been a loss of affection since the accident, they can claim loss of consortium
Speak with a Wrongful Death Lawyer About Your Case Today
When the person at-fault for an accident is deceased, this often makes it more difficult for the other party involved to recover damages. If you were injured or someone you know was killed because of a now deceased person’s negligence, and you need to know how to sue a deceased person’s estate, contact the Dixon Injury Firm today to schedule a free consultation. Our experienced lawyers are committed to helping victims recover compensation from the party responsible for their damages, even if they are deceased, and will do everything in their power to obtain full compensation for your harm and losses caused in the accident.