Articles Posted in Wrongful Death

A grandfather is suing his grandson for the wrongful death of his grandmother after he accidentally crashed into her while attempting to help her put her minivan in gear in a parking lot. This case raises some interesting legal questions, given that the grandson was just 13 and not a licensed driver.

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People often have an initially poor reaction upon hearing about lawsuits against relatives and other loved ones. There is a sense that “accidents happen,” and unless there was an actual intent to cause harm, families should refrain from taking grievances to court.

But our Greenville accident lawyers want to make sure people understand that in the vast majority of these cases, claimants are not trying to collect money from the individual who is the named defendant in the lawsuit. Instead, they are trying to collect insurance money for the losses incurred, which may include medical bills, lost wages, and more. It is not about punishing the defendant. It’s about helping the victim recover.

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A 17-year-old girl from Northeast Ohio was killed in March while returning home from a day spent with her family. She had texted her mother to tell her she was broke down on the side of the road after her vehicle had overheated. That’s when a 63-year-old man allegedly slammed into the back of her vehicle on the interstate.highwayexposure

At the hospital, she was pronounced dead. She was a National Honors Society student with a 3.7-GPA who played three instruments and volunteered on projects to help those less fortunate.

Meanwhile, the man who is accused of drunkenly driving a car and causing the fatal crash, was charged with two counts of aggravated vehicular homicide and three counts of operating a vehicle while intoxicated. He had reportedly been at a bar that night to watch a family member’s band play. He was served alcohol. When his blood was later tested by law enforcement, it was 0.204 percent – more than double the legal limit of 0.08.  Continue reading

You care about your family. That’s why you make sure the auto insurance policy you choose will allow for adequate coverage of injury in the event of a serious accident.noatvs

But one provision you need to watch for is called the “step-down” provision. There are many different variations, but the intended purpose to reduce the amount of insurance coverage from the policy minimums to the state-mandated minimums. This is true no matter how severe the severity or how negligent the driver or how much insurance you purchased in the first place.

Take the recent North Dakota Supreme Court case of Nodak Mutual Ins. Co. v. Koller. This was a tragic accident that involved a young mother who was killed when her boyfriend, who also died, lost control of an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) he was operating.  Continue reading

A man who allegedly killed a pedestrian while driving drunk and speeding on South Boulevard in Charlotte recently is facing a charge of aggravated felony death by vehicle. crosswalk3

Prosecutors say the 30-year-old driver was operating his 2014 vehicle with five passengers after leaving a bar in Plaza Midwood. Initially, another friend was driving his car, but he insisted on taking back the wheel when the group stopped to use a gas station restroom. Minutes later, he was reportedly traveling 60 mph in a 35 mph zone.

Meanwhile, a 28-year-old woman and her longtime boyfriend were leaving a Panthers game. She stepped off the sidewalk and onto the street to cross. She only made it a few steps when she was reportedly struck by the 30-year-old’s vehicle. She did not survive.  Continue reading

For his involvement in a car crash that killed a 2-year-old child and, shortly thereafter, the boy’s newborn brother, a 29-year-old box truck driver has pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter. The judge sentenced the driver to between 1 and 3 years in prison, followed by three years of probation.truckoverbridge

According to news reports, the delivery driver was transporting a load of sea food on U.S. 17 near Wilmington when the crash occurred earlier this year. Investigators would later learn the driver had less than five hours of sleep the night before, and had purchased illicit drugs from a street dealer some nine hours before the crash.

The box truck driver was reportedly looking down at his sandwich as he approached a line of stopped traffic. He looked up and realized he needed to stop fast. Although he slammed on his brakes, it was too late. He crashed into the car ahead of him. This sparked a chain reaction. One of the vehicles in that chain reaction was driven by a Charlotte pastor, his wife, who was 37 weeks pregnant, and their 2-year-old son. Continue reading

In Chester County, South Carolina, located near Rock Hill and Spartanburg, a fifth grade student was waiting for the school bus when he was allegedly hit by a driver who then fled the scene of what eventually turned out to be a fatal car accident, according to a recent news report from the Charlotte Observer.

schoolbus1.jpgWitnesses say the 11-year-old victim was waiting for the school bus when a car hit him. Other witnesses told police the car did not stop after hitting victim, and driver proceeded to flee from the scene of this deadly South Carolina Car accident. Other witnesses apparently reported to police that alleged at-fault driver stopped immediately after the accident, staying around for a very short period of time, then quickly fled the scene.
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According to a recent news article from WCNC Charlotte, police placed under arrest the 17-year-old driver of car that allegedly was involved in serious car crash in which a 15-year-old boy died and two other teenage occupants were hurt.

DWI Arrest.jpgCharlotte Mecklenburg Police officials say the accident occurred in south Charlotte around midnight. The officers were called to the scene due what had been reported as a single car accident. When police arrived at the scene, they discovered a late model Toyota Highlander, which appeared to have crashed into a tree, with the primary impact occurring at the rear door on the left side of the SUV. Witnesses say the vehicle was traveling very fast when the driver apparently lost control of the SUV and went off the right side of the road. At this point, the driver tried to get back on the road, but turned the wheel too far left, and the SUV swerved across all lanes of traffic at high speed until it hit a tree on the left side of the road.
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The death of Jasper County Sheriff Benjamin Riley in an August 2007 traffic crash was a devastating blow not only to his wife and daughters, but also to his department, his church and his greater community.
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A 16-year-old driver had negligently entered his lane, forcing him to swerve. He still struck the teen’s car, though experts would later opine it wasn’t an especially high-impact collision. However, a defect in the door latch of his pickup truck caused the door to swing open, and Riley was ejected. He died soon thereafter.

His widow later sued the teen driver, as well as the manufacturer of decedent’s truck. The teen later settled with plaintiffs for a total of $25,000 – the liability limits under his insurance policy. Meanwhile, the case of Riley v. Ford Motor Co. proceeded to trial.
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A North Carolina wrongful death lawsuit against a drunk driver was amended recently to add as defendants two local bars that allegedly served alcohol to an underage person who was visibly intoxicated. wreckedcar3.jpg

That driver, a 20-year-old man from Asheboro, reportedly patronized two Chapel Hill bars using a fake identification before climbing behind the wheel of his Jeep and driving the wrong direction on I-85 in Hillsborough. He was traveling north in the southbound lanes in July when his vehicle collided with a passenger vehicle, killing three people – including a 6-year-old girl – and seriously injuring a 9-year-old girl.

Authorities later determined the Jeep driver had a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.17, which is more than twice the level of North Carolina’s threshold for drunk driving, which 0.08. He also allegedly had marijuana in his system.
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This summer has been a deadly one on South Carolina roads. Officials report there have been a string of fatal hit-and-run pedestrian accidents as well as a number of multiple-vehicle crashes that turned deadly. crimescene.jpg

In each case, officials explain, they must spend weeks meticulously sifting through the evidence, using on-call response teams, the latest technology and careful scientific analysis.

The process can take weeks or even months, and law enforcement officials do know that this causes anxiety and even anxiousness over the results. People don’t understand why it’s taking so long, and they just want to know what happened. The process sometimes seems unnecessarily dragged out.
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