JANE DOE [thinking out loud] “Wow, what a pretty day, a great day to run errands…. let’s see what’s on my list; dry cleaners, pharmacy and seafood store, grocery store, and then home…. Not bad. I will have plenty of daylight left for John and I to play with the dogs. Hmmm… what is that car doing, did he fall asleep, is he texting… UT OH, OH MY GOD…NO!!!!” [Knock on the door] JOHN DOE [thinking out loud] “who could that be…an officer, what?” [door opened] JOHN DOE “hello officer can I help you?” OFFICER: “Are you related to a Mrs. Jane Doe?” JOHN DOE: “OH MY GOD TELL ME JANE IS ALRIGHT, PLEASE?” OFFICER: “I am sorry, she was struck by a drunk driver…. she was airlifted to the hospital and after heroic efforts by the emergency staff she was pronounced dead…. I am very sorry” THE NOW WIDOWER JOHN DOE: “OH DEAR GOD NO, IT CANNOT BE, WE JUST SAID GOODBYE, SHE WAS RUNNING SOME ERRANDS, WE WERE GOING TO PLAY WITH THE DOGS THIS AFTERNOON, NO.NO.NO”
Life Is Changed Forever
These sad facts happen all too often. The world…life…changes in a blink of an eye…it gets extinguished, thrown into a cyclone of emotions for those who remain. Sometimes it is simple negligence that causes earthshattering disruption like; speeding, overcorrecting, falling asleep at the wheel. Sometimes it is something more than simple negligence…like; texting or driving impaired on drugs or alcohol. So, what if your Jane or John Doe, or your little Janet or Jimmy Doe was the one killed by the drunk driver while driving down the road one sunny afternoon? What do you do? I recommend two things and I recommend you do them quickly. First, you contact an injury lawyer. Second, you buy Life After Life by Raymond Moody. I found this book extremely helpful when my mother was battling cancer and while I still struggle with her loss, this book helped ease the pain, I highly recommend it.
Clear Cases Still Need Experts
Why a lawyer? The guy was drunk, the police caught him, he is clearly at fault and the damages are without question, he killed Jane. The reasons for hiring an injury lawyer in this clear case are numerous, let me give you just a couple. First, let us just say there are some issues with the arrest, or the taking of the blood alcohol level so it gets thrown out. Now she was not killed by a drunk driver but a negligent driver, who might just argue she too was negligent potentially wiping out the claim in North Carolina or diminishing its value if in South Carolina. Perhaps the guy’s criminal lawyer can make it so he is able to plead to a significantly lesser charge and again you have the same problem. Perhaps he has (like most drivers) very little insurance like a minimum policy worth thirty thousand dollars (like most drivers), about the same amount as the cost of the life flight Jane had to the hospital. If the guy has no money and only a 30k policy, why do I need an injury lawyer, he or she will just cost me money I do not have? Let me give you another reason to hire the lawyer, the lawyer through good legal investigation may determine you have a cause of action against a bar or restaurant that overserved the killer. Or that you have a lot more in underinsured motorist coverage. Or that there are insurance policies that can be stacked increasing the available coverage. The lawyer can help you set up the estate and reduce the amount of medical expenses that you must pay. Maybe it goes from fifty thousand in medical expenses to three thousand that needs to be paid back. These are all critically important issues to address and some of them are complicated legal issues that are best addressed by an injury lawyer who is accustomed to handling these types of matters. This is only more true when you have the mental health of you and your family to deal with at such a difficult time.
Get Professional Help and Quick
While I have only touched on a couple of relevant issues, I think you get the point. Bottom line, don’t screw up, get an expert. You don’t know what you don’t know and things like signing a release thinking you can then go after other insurance is one of the first all crippling errors you can make, the release may release the other carriers from liability. That means they don’t have to pay you any money because you let them off the hook.
Stay safe, be safe, take care of your family and enjoy your life. If tragedy strikes get professional help to help you successfully navigate what can be navigated. If it involves a person or business causing harm, hire an injury lawyer and do it quickly.