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What happens when a negligent driver dies in a car accident?

When Baltimore residents encounter serious problems in their life, they often need somewhere to turn for help. That can be easier said than done, however, as it may not always be clear where individuals can get that help or recourse.

One circumstance that can cause a person to require assistance is a serious auto accident. The crash can leave multiple individuals with serious injury, or even death.

For instance, a recent multi-vehicle accident left one 24-year-old Baltimore man dead and others injured. The man was traveling southbound when his vehicle crossed over into the opposing lanes of traffic and hit a second vehicle. The second vehicle was then hit by a third vehicle. Meanwhile, the man driving the first vehicle was ejected from his vehicle and ultimately died as a result of the crash. The other individuals suffered injuries in the crash as well.

While all of the circumstances of the crash are not yet known, the case highlights an important issue. Generally, when a person suffers injury because of a negligent driver, the injured person can bring a personal injury lawsuit against that driver to obtain compensation for their injuries. The injured person may not know whether they can get that recourse, however, if the negligent driver himself was killed in the accident.

Typically, even if a person dies in a crash, the person can still be held liable for the accident. The procedure may change in the lawsuit, however, as it will usually be the deceased person's estate who is sued, rather than the person himself. The personal injury claim remains just as valid when it is brought against the estate, and the injured individuals still can obtain recourse for the other driver's negligence.

Source: ABC 2, "Baltimore man killed in multi-vehicle crash in Columbia," April 23, 2015

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