Single vehicle accidents can be just as devastating as those involving more than one car. This case clearly demonstrates that point.
“A group of seven people in this case were out for an evening cruise and for some unknown reason, the van driver lost control of the vehicle and got wedged tight in under a pedestrian bridge. The impact caused the vehicle to burst into flames and ejected one passenger through a window. That person ultimately had his arm amputated,” said Charlie Donahue, a New Hampshire personal injury lawyer located in Keene. Donahue handles injury cases in New Hampshire and across the United States.
It was only thanks to some good samaritans that the rest of the people in the van were pulled out of the blazing vehicle. Two of the passengers in the van were children, one aged 9 and the other an 11-year-old. All of the victims were rushed to the hospital for treatment. Unfortunately, none of the people in the van were wearing seatbelts.
The police report was not clear on what caused this accident, but they definitely will be launching a full investigation into the matter. There are a number of unanswered questions, not the least of which is asks if the vehicle defective in some way. Was the steering faulty? Did a tire blow because it was damaged? Were the streets slippery with snow? Was the driver using a cell phone at the time of the accident or under the influence?
“Again, cases like this serve to point out that what you may see on the surface of a situation may not be actually what happened, and only an investigation into the matter will provide the real story. Apparently, all the people in the van were related to one another and that will create a difficult situation for the injured parties. I don’t encourage interfamilial lawsuits, but sometimes it’s the only way to obtain necessary compensation for injuries,” Donahue said.
For instance, the victim who had his arm amputated would have a good case to file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver of the van. If the driver happens to be his father, uncle or brother, it will be incredibly difficult to proceed. However, if the victim has no other options to pay medical expenses, this might be the route he will need to pursue. The claim in not just for medical expenses, as it may also include pain and suffering, lost wages, loss of consortium, loss of future wages, property damage, etc.
“I have handled amputation cases, and they’re difficult for the victims. The other tough thing is suing a family member. When it comes to interfamilial suits, the insurance company is going to pay and is the real party in interest. In most jurisdictions, the only way to get insurance money is by making a claim against the insured, who might be someone you know and love. Generally speaking, a vast majority of the time the driver will understand and totally support the effort. If they have insurance coverage, they’ll want it to pay,” Donahue said.
The tricky thing with issues such as this is that the insurance company is, in essence, hiding behind the person, and they like to take advantage of the fact that people are usually reluctant to make a claim because it involves a family member.
“This is just one more way that the insurance system is stacked against you, the victim. We’re here to help you through the merry-go-round of fact versus fiction and to turn the nonsense into ‘sense,” Donahue said.
“If you have been in a similar situation, please, call my office. I can walk you through your legal rights and explain what happens when you sue for compensation for your injuries. If you choose to hire my firm, you will get 100 percent dedication to your welfare and aggressive representation to protect your rights,” Donahue said.
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