Child Hit by Motor Vehicle
Massachusetts Child Pedestrian Struck By Pick-Up Truck In Front of Store
We represented a family who sent their son and daughter to do some holiday shopping with a relative. The son, Sven, was 5. They shopped. Then they returned to their vehicle to go home. However, the adult relative suggested that the two children go back into the store to buy some additional presents. The relative stayed in the car. Wherefore, the 6 and 7-year-old children went back into the store to run their errand. Unfortunately, upon their return, when Sven was trying to cross from the store to the car, a pickup truck was speeding through the parking lot and ran over Sven.
Sven suffered numerous internal injuries and was seen at a top Boston hospital. Fortunately, he was released after only one month and notwithstanding a great deal of pain and some liver damage, he returned to school soon thereafter.
The truck’s insurance company claimed that Sven was at fault for running out of the store. Witnesses were mixed in their memories of what happened. We hired a registered nurse to review the driver’s medical records. We were able to show that the driver was exceeding the recommended dosages of numerous medicines.
The insurance company also tried to say that Sven’s recovery was so good that they did not have to pay any significant monies. However, we retained a liver transplantation surgeon who wrote a report indicating that there were permanent injuries.
In addition to pursuing the driver of the pick up truck’s insurance company, we filed a claim with the relative’s homeowner’s insurance policy for negligence. We showed that had the relative properly supervised Sven, he would not have been a small boy crossing the parking lot with his young sister and the accident would not have happened. The relative’s insurance company eventually paid the whole insurance policy.
This case went to mediation against the driver’s insurance company. It resolved once they realized that we had the expert reports, especially the report from the nurse regarding the excessive medication that the driver was taking.
The monies from the two settlements were put into an educational trust, which was set up for Sven. Conservatively managed, the trust should cover a percentage of Sven’s college costs.
Boston pedestrian injury lawyers are often faced with the challenge of limited insurance funds. This case is an example of creative lawyering: going after a relative’s homeowner’s insurance policy in addition to the driver’s insurance enabled the family to have two deep pockets. Avoiding a lawsuit enabled the claims to resolve, with each insurance company in the dark about the other’s settlement.
Pedestrian accidents can be complicated like this. Drivers generally say they didn’t see the pedestrian. Insurance companies do their homework and find someone who will say the victim was not in a crosswalk, or was wearing dark clothing. Insurance defense attorneys find a flaw or two in the history of events and use that against the victim at the time of trial. My job as a personal injury lawyer is to show the case from the pedestrian’s perspective.