Pursuing Pedestrian Killed Wrongful Death Claims

 By: J. Hernandez
Pedestrian accident matters often cause fatalities. As outlined by data from a few years ago, a pedestrian fatality happens due to a motor vehicle accident around every 111 minutes. That means there are four thousand five hundred pedestrian fatalities every year. When handling a case concerning a fatal pedestrian accident, attorneys need to be able to be aware of the nature of the damages that may exist in the given lawsuit and to fully go after all potential sources available for recovery or award.

In one lawsuit, while attempting to turn left a driver hit and killed a sixty two year-old male pedestrian crossing the street. There was no dispute that the pedestrian had the right of way. The pedestrian victim died from the resulting injuries. Culpability was not denied in this claim. The driver admitted he caused the accident. So the single issue that remained was how much compensation should be awarded to the family of the victim who was killed in the accident. Yet as is so often the situation in car accidents with serious injuries to or the death of the victim, the driver merely had fifteen thousand dollars in insurance coverage. In this matter this amount was completely insufficient given that the victim died.

The law firm that handled this case on behalf of the victim's family observed that, even though the driver had been driving his own car when the accident took place, the driver was going to a store to make a purchase for his employer. They thus demonstrated that the driver was acting within the course and scope of his employment at the time of the accident. Because of this, the employer liable as well. Therefore, the law firm was able to pursue the employer's insurance policy and recovered an additional $1 Million. The law firm thus recovered at total of $1.015 Million on behalf of the victim's adult children.

In the other case, a pickup truck struck a ninety year old male pedestrian who was walking on a sidewalk. The pickup, which weighed a ton, was backing out of a construction site when it hit the pedestrian. The truck did not just strike the man, it actually ran over him, went forward and then ran over him again. The man died of his injuries. The man was survived by his adult children. They retained a law frim which pursued a lawsuit for them. They named the driver, his employer, the developer of the construction site, and the contractor as defendants. Two of the defendany settled. The developer for two hundred thousand dollars and the contractor for an additional one hundred fifty thousand dollars. The employer, while admitting liability, argued that it was the developer was at fault because it did not provide a lookout person as the truck was backing up. The law firm took the case to trial and the jury awarded the family an additional $1.3 Million.

These 2 cases show one of the most important lessons that lawyers representing the families of victims of motor vehicle accidents must learn and apply. Lawyers ought to investigate the case in order to identify all potential defendants. In addition to the driver, other possible defendants include (1) employers as well as anyone who (2) owns any of the vehicles involved in the accident, (3) contributed to the accident or who can (4) be vicariously liable. Applying this lesson may make a substantial difference in the amount recovered on behalf of the family of a pedestrian killed in a motor vehicle accident.
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