Distribution of Recovery in a Wrongful Death Motor Vehicle Accident Claim When Deceased Person Had No Will

Who gets the money that is recovered in a wrongful death claim arising from a car accident, truck accident, or motorcycle accident? The answer, unfortunately, can be complicated and is beyond the scope of these FAQ's. In short, it depends on a number of factors. The two main factors are: (1) Did the victim have a valid will when he or she died? and (2) Who survived the victim? The comforting news is that any distribution of any recovery from a wrongful death motor vehicle accident claim would have be approved by a Judge of the Probate Court BEFORE any distribution can be made.

Also, rest assured that if Advocates Law Firm is involved in prosecuting a wrongful death motor vehicle claim, our AutoAccidents.pro Team will do everything that is necessary to set up the Estate in Probate Court and to make sure all money recovered is distributed to the people who are legitimately and rightfully entitled to the recovery.

If the victim did not have a will when he or she died in the motor vehicle accident, then the recovery would be distributed to the victim's heirs according to Connecticut's laws of intestacy as set forth in Connecticut General Statutes §§ 45a-437, 45a-438, 45a-438a, and 45a-439. How the money is distributed depends on whether the victim was survived by a spouse, children, parents, and/or siblings. Here is an overview of how any net recovery would be distributed; please note however that the following list does not account for every possible combination, but simply the most common situations. Also, as stated before, the Probate Court would make the final determination as to how the net recovery would be distributed after holding hearings in open court.

If the person who was killed in, or died as a result of, the accident was survived by a SPOUSE, but not children or parents, the spouse gets all of the net estate.

If the wrongful death accident victim was survived by a SPOUSE AND PARENTS, but not children, the spouse gets the first $100,000 of the net estate plus three-fourths of any balance. For example, if the net estate was $1,000,000, the spouse would get $850,000 and the parent (or parents) would get $150,000.

If the wrongful death auto accident victim was survived by a SPOUSE AND CHILDREN born with that spouse, the spouse would get the first $100,000 of the net estate plus one-half of the balance, and any remainder would be divided equally among the children. For example, if the net estate was $1,000,000 and the victim and spouse had two children together, then the spouse would get $600,000 and each child would get $200,000. (Please note that this includes children born out of wedlock.)

If the wrongful death auto accident victim was survived by a SPOUSE AND CHILDREN born without that spouse, the spouse would get one-half of the net estate and the children would divide the other half. For example, if the net estate was $1,000,000 and the victim had two children born with someone else, then the spouse would get $500,000 and each child would get $250,000. (Please note that this includes children born out of wedlock.)

If the wrongful death auto accident victim was survived by a SPOUSE AND CHILDREN born with that spouse AND also children born with another person, the spouse would get the first $100,000 of the net estate plus one-half of the balance, and any remainder would be divided equally among the children. For example, if the net estate was $1,000,000 and the victim had two children born with the spouse and one with someone else, then the spouse would get $600,000 and each child would get $133,000. (Please note that this includes children born out of wedlock.)

If the wrongful death auto accident victim was survived by CHILDREN but no spouse, then the net estate would be divided equally among all children, including any born out of wedlock.

If the wrongful death auto accident victim was survived by a PARENT, but no spouse or child, then the net estate would be distributed to each parent, so long as (a) paternity can be established; and (b) the parent had not abandoned the child as of the time of death.

If the wrongful death auto accident victim was survived by SIBLINGS, but no spouse, child, or parent, then the net estate would be divided equally among the brothers and sisters.

If the wrongful death auto accident victim was survived by NEXT OF KIN, but no spouse, child, parent, or sibling, then the net estate would be divided equally among the cousins.

If the wrongful death auto accident victim was survived by STEPCHILDREN, but no spouse, child, parent, sibling, or next of kin, then the net estate would be divided equally among the stepchildren.

If you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury or loss caused by a car accident, motorcycle accident, or truck accident, please contact our AutoAccidents.Pro Team to arrange a free and confidential consultation.

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