Two high-school sweethearts on a summer afternoon drive. It sounds like the idyllic start to a movie. However the accident that followed turned this sunny scene into a tragic ballad. The two teens were riding in a pick up truck on route 20 in Upshur, West Virginia (WV). When the driver, a 16-year old boy, said he attempted to make room for an approaching truck while coming down a hill. When he tried to move closer to the shoulder, the truck plunged into a large ditch that bordered the road, causing it to flip end over end like a domino until it smashed into a utility pole at the bottom of the hill.
The young man was taken to the hospital with minor injuries but his beautiful young girl friend was killed on the scene. As a personal injury attorney this breaks my heart. Its stories like this that make all parents shudder and seriously consider never letting their children ride with another teen. But by all accounts this young man was doing what he was supposed to; they were both wearing seat belts, there was no sign of excessive speed, and he tested negative for alcohol. So why did this deadly crash occur? It may have been a combination of an oversized truck; the road conditions being unsafe with no shoulder and driver inexperience that contributed to this crash.
Police weren't able to find the truck on the scene and it makes me suspicious that it did not stop after such a horrific wreck took place.
In the aftermath of the accident an entire community is mourning for the girl and none so much as her parents and family. Her forlorn boyfriend will also never be able to forget about the accident and what he could have done differently, if anything. No doubt this is a tragic event, but how can her parent's possibly recover, their daughter is already gone?
Everyone is hesitant to sue a friend or family member over a serious personal injury or death, however we all pay insurance to protect us in just those circumstances. The insurance company will pay the damages relating to the claim and if there is a family relationship or close friendship, the victim can simply accept the amount of insurance and not pursue any personal judgment exceeding insurance payments.