California tort law recognizes the right of a family to file an accident lawsuit if their loved one dies as a result of someone else’s intentional act or act of negligence. This is known as a wrongful death lawsuit. The situation can become more complicated if the defendant also dies. As soon as you learn of this person’s death, contact your accident attorney in Riverside to discuss the next steps in the case.
If you haven’t already filed the accident lawsuit, you can still do so after the defendant dies. The claim will be filed against the negligent individual’s estate. One of the first steps your accident lawyer will take is to determine whether the decedent’s will has already been filed in a probate court. If so, your attorney can file your claim in the presiding court. The estate will be notified of your claim against the assets. Sometimes, simply identifying the correct court can be trickier when the defendant has died. If the individual died while in jail, the probate case may be located either in the court nearest to the jail or near the decedent’s former residency.