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Product Liability Litigation – Plaintiffs by Best Lawyers in America

Jami S. Oliver also named Best Lawyers 2024 in three areas of practice:
Litigation – Labor & Employment, Medical Malpractice Law – Plaintiffs, and Product Liability Law – Plaintiffs

Fatal Semi-Truck Wreck In Columbus

| Car Accident

When a Kia and a semi-truck collided at the intersection of U.S. Highway 23 and Lazelle Road, an 11-year-old girl died.

The passenger car was attempting to turn onto Lazelle when the semi-truck smashed into it. Worthington school Superintendent Trent Bowers said the deceased child was a sixth-grader at Perry Middle School. The driver of the Kia was the girl’s stepmother and is an employee of the school district, he added. “We understand that the loss of a young life is an unimaginable tragedy, and our thoughts and condolences go out to the family, friends, and loved ones affected by this loss,” Bowers wrote in a message to parents. “The student was a beloved member of our school community, and her passing has left a void that will be felt by all those who knew her.”

The girl was pronounced dead at the scene. The seriously-injured drivers are expected to survive.

Special Issues in Wrongful Death Cases

Liability is difficult to determine in car crash claims, as outlined below. Determining fair compensation for something like the death of an 11-year-old girl is even more difficult.

By the book, this determination is easy. A Columbus car accident attorney may obtain compensation for pecuniary losses, such as:

  • Funeral, burial, and other final expenses,
  • Lost future financial support,
  • Decedent’s pain and suffering,
  • Lost future emotional support, and
  • Decedent’s final medical bills.

Some of these items, such as final expenses and medical bills, basically have price tags. But it’s almost impossible to put a price tag on items like lost future financial and emotional support, especially if the victim was very young.

So, a Columbus personal injury lawyer generally partners with psychologists, accountants, and other outside professionals in these situations.

In a way, these inquiries are meaningless. No amount of money in the world could even begin to fill the emotional hole that the sudden death of a sixth grade girl creates. However, compensation helps survivors move on with their lives. At this point, that’s the best possible outcome.

Liability Issues

The duty of care is higher in semi-truck and other commercial driver wrecks. Therefore, negligence, or a lack of care, is easier to prove. However, a full array of defenses are still available.

Distracted driving, such as fiddling with the radio, is a good example. If the tortfeasor (negligent driver) was a noncommercial operator, to most jurors, such behavior isn’t a lack of care. But if the tortfeasor was a commercial driver, that’s different. Noncommercial drivers have a duty of reasonable care. Most commercial drivers have a duty of utmost care.

One driver’s negligence doesn’t affect another driver’s duty of care. The above story is a good illustration. It appears the Kia made an unprotected left turn in front of the semi-truck. So, both drivers might be partially responsible. The Kia driver turned unsafely and the semi-truck driver failed to anticipate the wreck.

Determining first party liability is only part of the process in a semi-truck wreck. A third party is often financially responsible for damages in these cases. The respondeat superior rule states that employers are liable for damages if their employees are negligent during the course and scope of their employment.

Lawyers often argue about the definition of “employee.” Most truck drivers are independent contractors or other non-employees for most purposes. However, since the employer has some control over their behavior, these drivers are normally employees for negligence purposes.

Semi-truck wrecks have practical issues as well. The employer is usually an out-of-state shipping, transportation, or other company. That fact adds another layer to an already multi-layer case.

Count on a Hard-Hitting 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. Virtual, home, and hospital visits are available.



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