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Is it possible to sue a deceased person? This may seem like a strange question, yet there are actually quite a few scenarios where it makes legal sense to pursue a case against a deceased person. Passing away does not automatically absolve a person of their legal or financial obligations. Here are some examples of why.
When filing a lawsuit or collecting a judgment from a deceased person, you direct your efforts toward their estate. You are actually taking the action against the property they left behind. The estate’s executor – or representative designated to manage the estate – acts on behalf of the deceased person. Usually the deceased person’s surviving spouse or child serves as their executor.
Most estate matters are handled in a process called probate, unless the deceased used a living trust or some other method to avoid probate. Probate claims expire quickly after a person dies, so it is important to act immediately after the person passes away. In New Jersey, you only have a few months to make a personal injury claim against an estate. This is the same for creditors seeking to file probate claims.
Notice of probate proceedings are public record. Check in the county where the deceased person lived at the time of their passing to see if there is a probate proceeding. In some circumstances, if you missed the probate deadline, you can file a late claim up to a year after the person’s passing.
If, for example, you are injured in a car accident that claimed the life of the other driver, you may seek compensation for your injuries from the deceased person’s estate. To protect your right to compensation, you need to file your claims properly by the deadline permitted by probate court. Cherry Hill personal injury lawyers can help you navigate this complicated process, so your probate claim is protected.
Next, it must be determined if the deceased person was negligent for your injuries. If negligence is established and the deceased person had insurance, you may receive an insurance payout. If not, you may be entitled to payout directly from the deceased person’s estate.
In probate court, all claims against an estate are considered and prioritized. Using the estate’s assets, claims are paid accordingly. Cherry Hill personal injury lawyers at Folkman Law Offices, P.C. will file your probate claim promptly and correctly to give you the best chance of receiving the compensation you deserve. Call our office at 856-354-9444 to discuss your personal injury in Cherry Hill today. You can also complete our convenient online contact form to begin today. With locations in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, as well as Philadelphia and King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, Folkman Law serves clients across Camden County, South Jersey and all of New Jersey and Pennsylvania.