WRONGFUL DEATH RECOVERY OF $1 MILLION DOLLARS
In a case involving unimaginable tragedy for a young family, our client’s husband was killed on Route 95 while outside his vehicle. His car had broken down, but before it came to a stop, he had managed to get it to the high speed breakdown lane. He then left the car and attempted to get out of harm’s way. Unfortunately, while near the high speed lane he was struck and killed by an 18-wheel tractor trailer.
The State Police investigation exonerated the truck driver based on witness interviews, one of which indicated that “there was nothing the truck driver could do to avoid the accident.” The State did not pursue any claims of criminal or reckless behavior based in part on these interviews and based on their limited accident reconstruction.
After being retained by the family, partner Joe Marasco and associate attorney Tim Lynch went to work on the wrongful death case. Together with their investigator they identified and interviewed numerous witnesses. It became apparent that other motorists had observed the vehicle in the roadway and had slowed or otherwise made efforts to avoid the pedestrian. By issuing a subpoena, they obtained 911 tapes that provided additional witnesses and other valuable evidence about the true nature of what occurred on the rainy highway. Most significantly, it was discovered that before the collision occurred, many other drivers had recognized the disabled vehicle and acted responsibly by slowing down and proceeding with caution. These witness accounts suggested that the truck driver had failed to recognize and react to the zone of danger and had been traveling at an unreasonable rate of speed.
Marasco & Nesselbush, LLP then hired a nationally known truck accident reconstruction expert to review all of the witness information, physical evidence from the scene and to inspect the truck itself. The expert provided an opinion that the truck driver was negligent in several respects and failed to maintain a proper lookout and control of the truck under the circumstances. It was also learned that the truck driver probably violated strict rules limiting the length of time a commercial truck driver is allowed to drive without resting.
After difficult negotiations the insurance carrier for the trucking company offered to resolve the case for the full amount of the available coverage, $1,000,000. In addition, the client’s own Underinsured Motorist coverage provided a further recovery in the amount of $50,000.
Obviously, no sum of money can bring back someone’s husband and father or fairly compensate for such an unimaginable loss. However, by structuring the settlement funds appropriately, the children will have money to ensure a college education and bright future. The funds provided to our client will be used immediately to purchase the family a home in a safer neighborhood with better schools.
When asked to comment on her experience with the firm our client reflected: “Joe and Tim are the best. They worked hard on my case; they are smart and never gave up. They were kind and caring to me and my family. I cannot thank them enough for all they have done for us. Because of their work, we will have a new home and financial security.”