Oregon State Police responded on July 9 at 1:52 PM to a two-vehicle wreck at the intersection of Highway 101 and Long Prairie Road.
The preliminary investigation showed that a Hyundai SUV, driven by Miriam Wolfe, 90, was crossing Highway 101 going west from Long Prairie Road onto Gienger Road. She drove into the path of a Jeep Cherokee driven by Alan Mulvaney, 38, that was going southbound on Highway 101 and could not avoid the Hyundai.
Both drivers were injured and taken to a local hospital, where Wolfe was pronounced dead. Mulvaney is still being treated for his accident injuries.
How Do I File an Accident Claim Against a Deceased Driver?
It appears in the above accident that the negligent driver is deceased. But how do you file a claim against a deceased driver in Oregon if you have injuries? The usual process is to file a personal injury claim against the estate of the deceased driver.
Usually, a family member of the descendant is appointed to handle the estate, which includes any debts and assets the decedent had. If the only asset the decedent had was their insurance policy, then the injured parties need to submit the claim through the insurance company.
How Do You Prove Liability When a Driver Dies?
The death of the possibly responsible driver makes it more difficult to prove how the car accident happened. First of all, dead people cannot answer questions about the crash. In many cases, a living driver will admit they caused the accident or will give answers that prove they were at fault.
However, liability in a car accident may be proven without testimony from anyone. Physical evidence, such as the location and manner of the vehicles’ damage, can establish liability. Also important is the street layout, the physical position of the cars after the accident, and other physical evidence. If the deceased driver was drunk or on medication at the time of the crash, toxicology reports can verify this was a contributor to the accident.
Independent witnesses can usually testify in cases where the possibly liable driver died. For instance, police officers in Oregon can testify if the driver dies. Injured accident victims, even if they cannot provide information about liability issues, can usually comment about their injuries, pain and suffering, and financial damages.
Contact The Herron Law Firm Today For a Free Consultation
If you are in a car accident where the liable driver died, you can still file a claim against the driver’s estate or their auto insurance policy. These cases can be complicated, so it is prudent to contact an experienced Portland, Oregon, personal injury attorney to handle your case. The Herron Law Firm is highly experienced in handling all types of car accident personal injury cases, so give them a call today.