No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

Sep. 12th, 2011   /   , , , , ,

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

Picture this scenario: a Honda Civic, on the New Jersey Turnpike, finds itself wedged under an enormous tractor-trailer, owned and operated by a major transportation company.  The driver of the Civic is trapped and can’t escape.  Then, a dutiful citizen, driving his family to a relative’s house, notices the accident and pulls over to the side of the road.  He gets out of the car and, with the help of a couple of family members, rescues the helpless woman from her vehicle.

Now imagine another scenario: there is a Ford Expedition stopped in the emergency lane of a highway for a matter of minutes.  During this short amount of time, a monstrous tractor-trailer vehicle, owned and operated by another major transportation company, comes plowing into the back of the vehicle at 65 mph, leaving two dead.

Now, imagine if these two scenarios were both parts of the same incident.  Scary, huh?  Like out of a horror movie?  Well, sometimes there’s nothing scarier than real life: the two scenarios are part of the same true story.

The only abnormal thing about July the 18th, 2008, for a family from Ecuador was that they were in the United States visiting family.  There was nothing particularly out of the ordinary; the air was dry and the skies were clear.  The headlights and taillights of thousands of vehicles lit up the New Jersey Turnpike as the family made their way to a happy reunion.

The driver of the car (the Ford Expedition) was an off-duty NYPD officer, a man of good faith and good conscience.   As his nieces slept peacefully in the backseat, he and the other family members came to the realization that they were approaching a car accident on their right-hand side.  Apparently, a sedan, the Civic, had gotten itself caught under a very large tractor-trailer.  No police had arrived on the scene yet, and so the family pulled to the side of the road to help.  They parked in the emergency lane and got out of the car to assist the woman out of her car.  They succeeded in doing so as the man’s two nieces, now awake, and their mother, sat in the back seat of the Expedition, parked safely in the emergency lane.  One of his nieces, an 8-year-old girl wise beyond her years, expressed concern over the accident.  She wanted to know if the driver of the Civic was going to be okay.  Her mother assured her that everything would be okay.

Moments later, without halt or hesitation, a mammoth tractor-trailer tore through the scene of the original accident and struck the Ford Expedition at 65 mph.  The first tractor-trailer looked like it had been the sole target of a tornado.  The second tractor-trailer flipped on its side, its driver dead on the scene.  Inside the Expedition, the devastation had just begun.  An 8-year-old girl, horribly injured yet still conscious, was airlifted to a local hospital.  Her sister and mother, also injured, were taken by ambulance to the same hospital.  The mother and sister survived, though they sustained severe injuries.  The 8-year-old wasn’t as fortunate.

We are representing the estate of the 8-year-old girl, to compensate her family for the damages incurred subsequent to the catastrophic accident.  The little girl lost her life, her family lost a beloved daughter, and the world lost a great deal of potential.  The fault lies with both of the transportation companies that operated the two tractor-trailers in the case.  The first tractor-trailer’s driver did nothing to mark the scene of the accident, and the second tractor-trailer’s driver was totally inattentive, not even noticing that an accident had occurred.  Because of the negligence of both of these drivers, who were operating vehicles that had not passed proper inspections, an 8-year-old girl lost her life when her family stopped what they were doing to help a complete stranger.

Bad things happen to good people.  That’s the nature of the world we live in.  Sometimes good people are struck by lightning, but we can’t hold the sky legally responsible.  Sometimes people drown in the ocean, but we can’t hold the water legally responsible.  But when major transportation companies fail to implement proper (and REQUIRED) safety precautions, and these indiscretions result in the death of an 8-year-old girl, they CAN and SHOULD be held legally responsible.  Not just for this 8-year-old girl, but for any person in the future who might fall victim to the negligence of these companies.

If you have been injured by another person, small business, or major corporation, you have a right to hold them responsible for your suffering.  For more information, please call the Law Offices of Aronberg, Aronberg & Green at 561-266-9191 or email us at daronberg@aronberglaw.com.

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