Motor Vehicle Collision With Pedestrian Causing Wrongful Death, Underinsurance Payment

On January 18, 2015, a motor vehicle collision occurred on Route 24 South in Avon, Massachusetts and as a result our client’s family member was killed.  According to the State Trooper who investigated, our client’s decedent, who we will call Warren, was involved in a single car accident the cause of which we will never know; after which he got out to investigate.  Unfortunately, another driver, “Suzie”, was headed down Route 24 just after Warren’s car broke down.

When the driver of the second vehicle saw Warren’s Dodge Charger she was traveling at an estimated “78 miles per hour”.  The State Police determined that this was AFTER she tried to slow down.  Nevertheless, she was going so fast that she crashed into the Warren’s stopped vehicle causing it to spin it into another lane “155 feet”.  After that impact Suzie’s car spun around and the right side of it struck Warren, ripping off the side view mirror and sending him 52 feet away from the impact.  Suzie’s vehicle was travelling so fast that notwithstanding the “emergency braking” and two impacts, she couldn’t stop her vehicle for another “104 feet”.  The investigating Trooper determined that there was some fault on Warren, but that Suzie was travelling too fast.

Wrongful Death Personal Injury Attorney Filed Probate Case and Insurance Claim

We were retained by Warren’s family.  We needed to have a family member file for Probate to get appointed as Warren’s Personal Representative.  Because Warren left behind minor children, the Probate Court needed more documentation then otherwise.

A second complicating factor in representing Warren’s family was that because there were criminal charges filed against Suzie, to protect her rights, we were not able to obtain any police report, crash analysis or any information whatsoever. This created stress on the family.  They did not know what actually happened.  From a legal perspective, this also created an escape for the insurance company as we had nothing to show them regarding Suzie’s negligence.  Thus, until after Suzie plead in Criminal Court, we could not convince Suzie’s insurance company to pay a dime.

Settlement of Wrongful Death Case with Insurance Company

After Suzie resolved her criminal case with the District Court, we were able to obtain all of the Collision Reconstruction Reports and forward them, along with the proper paperwork from the Probate Court, to Suzie’s insurance company.  They immediately paid the limits of Suzie’s insurance policy.  Note, they had been able to put this off for well over a year notwithstanding our efforts to convince them to pay.

Underinsurance Claim in Wrongful Death

Next, we were able to go to Warren’s insurance policy and file a claim for Underinsurance.  This is a very significant part of every insurance policy, often overlooked.  In any event, we were able to show that Suzie’s policy was insufficient and obtain the policy limits of Warren’s Underinsurance coverage for his family.

Wrongful Death Attorney

All wrongful death cases are hard.  The client’s family is grieving.  Often, they don’t know their loved on died.  Often the police or fire report is gruesome.  And often there is insufficient insurance coverage too even help the family for lost earnings and medical bills.  We have helped families through the legal attributes of their cases for decades.  And we will continue to do so.