The police are continuing an investigation into an accident which left three people dead and injured two others after a prolonged police chase.
It was around 4:30 a.m. when a New York police officer noted that a white Nissan Maxima heading eastbound on the highway was swerving back and forth. The officer immediately suspected that the driver may be under the influence of alcohol and attempted to pull the car over. The driver, however, had other ideas. He refused to pull over despite the siren and police lights behind him.
At the beginning of the chase, the car was actually traveling below the speed limit. The driver was headed directly into Connecticut and just before he crossed state lines, he accelerated. The officer contacted the local police and let them know he was in pursuit and to be on the lookout. But just a mile into the state, the driver continued to increase the speed of the car until he lost control and crashed into a large metal utility pole.
The top of the Maxima was ripped off from the impact and three men inside of the car, including the driver, were instantly killed. Two women were seriously injured although their injuries were not life-threatening.
Investigators have determined that the driver was on parole and had four felony convictions for burglary, larceny, robbery, and assault.
The Driver Died – So How Can The Victims Get Compensation?
While most people are aware that it may be possible to pursue a lawsuit against a driver whose negligence resulted in their injuries, they aren’t aware that it is possible to pursue a lawsuit against the estate of the deceased.
It may seem odd to consider legal action against someone who is no longer alive but it may be the only way through which a victim is able to obtain the compensation they need to pay for medical bills and other losses.
The process of filing a lawsuit does, however, become more complicated and the time allowed for a plaintiff to file is strict. Consulting a car accident attorney as soon you determine that the at-fault driver has passed away is very important so that paperwork can be filed in a timely manner.
How Much Can I Get From A Lawsuit?
The amount of money that a plaintiff may be able to obtain through a car accident lawsuit changes from case to case. If the court chooses to award damages or the defendant offers a settlement, several factors will be taken into consideration:
- the physical injuries sustained by the victim
- how much treatment for those injuries have cost and if there are expected future medical expenses
- how much time the victim has had to take off of work and if they will be able to return to work at all
- if the injuries sustained will keep them from enjoying activities they previously enjoyed
Once an attorney has reviewed the details of a case, they can estimate how much a case may be worth if legal action is pursued.
Won’t The Insurance Company Handle Everything?
No. In New York, the insurance companies follow a “no-fault” system, which means that individuals turn to their own company to get what they need following an accident. While this may provide enough coverage for many, once the policy limits are reached the company will simply begin to deny claims.
In addition, the insurance company will not assist with obtaining compensation from either the at-fault driver or their insurance company should policy limits be met.
In order to be eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit outside of the no-fault system, they need to have sustained serious injuries, such as a broken bone or head injury.