A wife and three daughters are in mourning after a 62-year-old man was killed when he was struck by a car in the middle of a crosswalk.
Family Sues The State
At the time of the accident, the victim was walking his bike across the crosswalk at an uncontrolled intersection. Despite the busy nature of this intersection, the state had not installed the appropriate lights and crosswalk signs to inform drivers and pedestrians when it was safe to go.
In addition to this, the family claimed that the design of the intersection prevented pedestrians from seeing oncoming traffic and that oncoming motorists could also not fully view the crosswalk until they were almost upon it. Their legal team obtained the professional opinion and testimony of a state employee who indicated that the state knew the intersection wasn’t safe but since there hadn’t been four serious injuries or deaths at the location, the issue hadn’t been addressed.
The matter went before a jury, which awarded the surviving loved ones of the victim with $9.5 million for their loss.
In addition to filing a lawsuit against the state, the plaintiffs also filed a lawsuit against the driver who struck the victim. This case settled out of court for $300,000.
Lawsuits Against States Or Government Entities
It might sound shocking to hear that a plaintiff would file a lawsuit against an entire state or any other government entity, but the reality is that states are just as responsible for keeping residents and visitors safe as any other party. If the state’s negligence results in an accident, a victim can choose to pursue legal action. This also applies to local government.
There are some differences when it comes these types of lawsuits, the most important being that the statute of limitations is usually much shorter than normal. Typically, car accident lawsuits allow victims several years to file their complaint, however, if filing against a government entity, this time period may be as short as 30 days.
In addition to this, a “Notice Of Claim” with specific information may need to be mailed to each government official or entity involved in the lawsuit.
The Purpose Of Filing
It’s easy for anyone who hasn’t been seriously injured in an accident to assume that the driver’s car insurance will take care of any losses sustained by the victim or their family. But all insurance policies have limits and those limits typically can’t replace the income earned by a contributing family member or even begin to cover the medical expenses that add up over time.
A lawsuit can ensure that the negligent party is held responsible and provide the plaintiffs with compensation for medical expenses, physical pain and suffering, and lost wages.
What If The Insurance Company Has Offered A Settlement?
It’s not uncommon for an insurance company to approach the plaintiff with a settlement offer. It’s important to not agree to anything or sign anything before consulting with an attorney. These offers can be much smaller than what is both needed and deserved and although the case may still end with a settlement agreement, an attorney can typically negotiate a much higher payment.
How Much Are Most Cases Worth?
There is no “typical” amount that a plaintiff may obtain. Each case is different and every plaintiff has sustained different losses. All of these losses will be taken into account and that is how the final amount will be determined.
How Does Your Firm Handle These Cases?
Our firm is dedicated to helping accident victim recover after their horrific experience. Our dedicated and experienced attorneys take pride in providing excellent communication and support to our clients. From the moment a client steps through our doors, we work with them to review every aspect of the accident, identify all negligent parties, calculate the client’s monetary losses and identify physical and emotional trauma, and let them know what legal options are available to them.
Although the majority of personal injury claims are settled out of court, we prepare each case as though it will go to trial so that the client is comfortable knowing that regardless of the direction their case goes, we are ready to fight for their rights.
Thanks to our friends at Thomas Law, bankruptcy lawyers in Phoenix, AZ, for their contributions to this post.