A commercial truck and a passenger vehicle collided in Ottawa County, killing a 16-year-old girl almost instantly.
According to Ohio State Highway Patrol investigators, the girl was driving northbound on Toussaint-Portage Road when she failed to yield for a stop sign and was struck by a commercial truck driving eastbound on SR-163. Both vehicles went off the road, striking another vehicle traveling westbound on SR-163, OSHP said.
The victim was a junior at Eastwood High School in Pemberville. In a message to community members, Superintendent Brent Welker provided resources for those grieving the tragic loss.
Issues in Wrongful Death Claims
The sudden death of a teenager creates an emotional void that no amount of money could begin to fill. But the compensation that a Columbus car accident attorney obtains in such cases helps survivors move on with their lives. At that point, moving on is the best possible outcome for everyone.
These cases also create legal and financial issues. Under Ohio law, wrongful death survivors are usually entitled to compensation for pecuniary losses, such as:
Lost future emotional support,
Decedent’s pain and suffering,
Lost future financial support,
Decedent’s final medical bills, and
Funeral, burial, cremation, and other final expenses.
Many of these losses are almost impossible to calculate. Lost future financial support is a good example. It’s almost impossible to predict what a career arc for a 16-year-old might look like.
So, a Columbus personal injury attorney usually partners with accountants and other outside professionals in these situations. These individuals use complex algorithms and other advanced methods to determine a fair amount of compensation for losses that seem uncompensable.
Survivors may also be entitled to compensation for their own grief and suffering. That’s especially true if a child’s parents witnessed their child’s injury. These claims are called bystander claims. In other cases, an attorney often needs to file a separate claim under a different theory, like negligent infliction of emotional distress.
At first blush, it might appear that the above discussion is irrelevant in this story. It seems that the girl ran a stop sign or otherwise ignored a traffic control device. But the girl’s survivors may still be entitled to compensation.
Commercial operators have a higher duty of care than noncommercial operators in Ohio. Noncommercial drivers must avoid accidents. Commercial drivers must go the extra mile. They must anticipate and avoid accidents. So, when a truck driver sees a vehicle at a stop sign, that driver must assume the driver will run the stop sign, and be prepared to act accordingly.
The higher duty of care makes it easier for a victim/plaintiff to prove negligence, or a lack of care, in these situations.
Furthermore, even if the victim was partially at fault for the wreck, the tortfeasor (negligent driver) may still be liable for damages, under Ohio’s complex comparative fault rule.
According to Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2315.33, victims are entitled to a proportional share of compensation if they were no more than 49 percent at fault for a car accident or other personal injury.
This compensation usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.
In commercial cases, the driver’s employer may be financially responsible for these damages. The respondeat superior rule applies if the tortfeasor was an employee who was working in the course and scope of employment at the time of the wreck.
Work With a Dedicated Franklin County Lawyer
Injury victims are entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Columbus, contact the Oliver Law Office. Attorneys can connect victims with doctors, even if they have no insurance or money.
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