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How Our Firm Has Helped In Wrongful Death Matters Stemming From 18-Wheeler Accidents

Written by attorney Megan David

In December 2014, two men were instantly killed by the driver of an 18-wheeler while they were on their way home from work. Each of the men was survived by his wife and children. I had the pleasure of representing the family of one of the deceased parties - the widow and three children. It is always difficult dealing with these heartbreaking cases, as no amount of money is going to be satisfactory; however, financial compensation is the only civil remedy available.

Upon meeting the family, it became instantly apparent that they were very close-knit. The deceased was loved and greatly missed. He was a loyal husband and doting father. The widow had been married to him for almost 30 years and the three children were ages 18, 22, and 25. These were sweet and lovely people. I knew I had to do right by the family, as this was the ultimate tragedy.

I spent the first few months gathering evidence to maximize the monetary value of the claim. I interviewed the family and collected details about the life of their father/husband. I gathered many photographs of them throughout the years, including a wedding photo, baby pictures of all the kids, and images from Christmas and other holidays, birthday celebrations, and family vacations. I also did my homework on the factual aspects of the case, liability and damages included. I requested and received the log book of the driver that caused the injury, which showed many violations of federal regulations. It was ultimately determined that the driver had fallen asleep behind the wheel and did not even brake before or upon impact... and this accident occurred on a highway. Upon speaking to the company's insurance adjuster, it was clear they were not disputing liability. The question was, "How much money is this case worth?"

I began researching similar cases to gain an understanding of what type of verdicts juries have awarded in the past. I also consulted with an economist to determine damages for future loss of income. I ordered and received the crash report, I interviewed the investigating police officer, and I did an Open Records Request for any and all other relevant documents. It is important to note that the individual who caused this horrific accident was investigated for criminally negligent double homicide. The other factor to consider was physical pain and suffering and mental anguish of the deceased between the time of impact and the time of death. Texas law states that you must prove that the deceased experienced conscious pain and suffering prior to death. Between the accident reconstructionist and the paramedics at the scene, it was concluded that he died upon impact; there were not even any life-saving procedures performed. As such, no recovery for pain and suffering for him. Of course, we fought for pain and suffering of the widow and three kids; there were no medical bills for which to recover.

After six months of hard work, this case settled at mediation for a confidential amount in the seven-figure range. While there is no such thing as a happy ending in these situations, the family was pleased with the settlement and was very appreciative of my help.

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