Car Crash Leads To Overdose – Policy Limit Settlement Obtained

John was a bright student from Delaware who like many teens became addicted to drugs. His parents sent him to in-patient rehab in Delray Beach to get clean. John later found a good sponsor and got a job as a valet attendant at a local golf club. John was on track for a successful recovery. One afternoon John was riding his scooter northbound on A1A. He made a left hand turn onto Hypoluxo Rd. and was struck by an oncoming pickup-truck.

Legal Issue # 1: Proving Fault: From a legal standpoint, John held the lion share of fault for turning in front of oncoming traffic. However, our attorneys successfully argued that the adverse driver must have been speeding and inattentive which explains why John mistimed his turn. As such, the oncoming pickup-truck was partially liable for John’s damages. John sustained serious injuries and was prescribed opioid medication during his recovery. John had to relocate back to Delaware so his parents could tend to him.

Legal Issue # 2: Causation of Damages: Balancing the stress of the crash, losing touch with his sponsor, losing his job, cancelling his routine, and getting back on (legal) drugs …. John caved. The opioid medication re-ignited John’s habit causing John to crave heroin. He picked up from a friend and overdosed the next day. John is no longer with us as a result of the O.D. Usually a second accident (here an O.D.) during the pendency of a legal claim substantially weakens the first accident case. Our team of personal injury lawyers successfully proved that the heroin overdose was in fact not a distinct second accident but instead a continuation of the first. We gathered all John’s prior records from rehab and interviewed his past sponsors. The evidence proved that John was on track for a successful recovery prior to the crash. We ended up getting the insurance carriers to concede the premature death of John was a natural cause and consequence of the initial car crash. We obtained full policy limit tenders in the amount of $400,00.00.

Legal Issue # 3: Wrongful Death & Conflicting State Law: John was a Delaware resident, but the crash occurred in Florida. Selecting venue for opening the estate required great legal strategy. Also, John’s medical bills exceeded $200,000.00 (more than half the settlement). John also had outstanding debts to pay chargeable to his estate. Nonetheless, we were able to extinguish many of the medical bills and the estate was only required to pay $40,000.00 from their settlement towards medical bills—allowing a majority of the settlement funds to pass onto John’s family.

Closing Thoughts:

It was our goal to vindicate the family by obtaining the largest possible settlement for them. John was done wrong. Although he had prior issues it doesn’t mean his family was not entitled to empathy or full compensation. Also, although we have handled wrongful death cases before, this is the first where we actually got to meet and build a relationship with our client while he was alive. It was not until sometime after our relationship did he pass away. It changes things when you actually knew the decedent in a wrongful death case.

However, we will never forget the final words from John’s father after the case settled which included:

Thank you for excellent legal representation. You obtained more money then I would ever have imagined, and it will certainly help my family. However, no money in the world will bring back my son. I would have much preferred my son be here and we forgo the settlement. I am grateful for your representation but can’t say that I am happy.” said John’s father.

These words will always stick with us. We will never forgot the human side of things.

Note: For purposes of anonymity, John is a fictional name but the facts of the case remain unchanged. Please also be advised that every settlement is unique to the circumstances of each unique case. Past performances on other cases may not be indicative if a recovery in your case. For a full and free legal consultation call us at 561-266-9191.

Views: 3