Just under two years ago, a 58 year old man was in a deadly car accident when he was struck by a car going the wrong way on a main street. This was a sad event that caused the driver’s death soon after the accident. As the legal process delved into the issues surrounding the case, it was discovered that the driver who was driving the incorrect way, was not even aware that he was driving the wrong way. The widow of the victim quickly filed a lawsuit against the city for failure to maintain a proper one-way sign. That failure, she correctly claimed, led to her husband’s death. In scary, attention grabbing situations like this, it is never comforting to hear that there are other factors, besides irresponsible drivers, that drivers need to worry about every day.
The widow sued for wrongful death and survival claims after her husband passed away due to the horrific accident. A wrongful death action is a civil suit against someone who can be held liable for another’s death. Initially, a common reaction would be to sue the at fault driver. Here, it made more sense to sue the city where the accident occurred because it was obvious that the one-way street sign was not sufficiently maintained. Therefore, this failure made the city more at fault than the other driver. With a properly maintained sign, the driver would not have been driving down the street the wrong way and the husband would not have been in any danger whatsoever. Another reason to sue the city once discovering this evidence is because the city has more money than any other lone individual. Suing other drivers can be complicated, especially in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania, under the Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law, only requires that each driver has a minimum $5,000 car Personal Injury Protection (PIP) policy and as a result, many drivers only have that much coverage. Once this $5,000 has been exhausted, which nearly always happens in serious car accidents, the injured party needs to resort to the other driver’s health insurance or their own finances to pay off all the medical bills they have incurred. Sometimes there are also unexpected enemies along the way. For example, the injured party’s insurance company will often try to avoid paying their client the money they are owed through their insurance policy. It is a process that requires a lot of attention to detail in order to compensate the injured party properly.
In this case, the city’s insurance company decided to settle with the widow and pay her and several other family members. The widow is awarded $4.15 million dollars, which included $1.74 million in financial reimbursements while seeking compensation for her husband’s death. This was a truly incredible case with an immense amount of work leading to a huge settlement.
Ciccarelli Law Offices has a team of hard working auto-accident attorneys who are here to guide our clients through the difficult and complicated compensation process. We are located in Wester Chester, PA and have satellite offices in surrounding counties. Our office is here to help you get the compensation money you rightfully deserve from the insurance companies who may attempt to keep more for themselves. Call us at 610-692-8700 or toll free at 877-529-2422.