Fatal Moped Crash in South Carolina Leads to $400,000 Settlement for Virginia Family | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

What Happened

Our Virginia wrongful death client had lived in Virginia when she lost her life in a rear-end collision in South Carolina. The case started out very complicated because insurance claims were filed in Virginia and in the name of her adult sister instead of her minor children.

The deadly crash involving our client’s moped and a larger motor vehicle happened on Highway 25 in Greenville, SC. Our client was a passenger on the moped.

After she fell in the roadway, the other driver ran over her. She initially survived, but she succumbed to her injuries shortly after arriving at a local hospital.


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Key Legal Strategy

The deceased woman’s sister, who lived in Richmond, VA, and served as executor of the woman’s estate, hired our Virginia wrongful death law attorney to pursue insurance claims against the driver who struck the moped from behind. Our lawyer’s first job was to prove that the driver caused the fatal rear-end collision.

A review of the official police report showed that a state trooper had determined that the driver was driving too fast for conditions. Additionally, the driver admitted that he took his eyes off the road just before hitting the moped.

With the question of fault answered, our Virginia wrongful death attorney had to work with both the surviving family members and the at-fault driver’s insurance company to determine who, or even if anyone legally could, receive a settlement payment.

The deceased woman suffered from bipolar disorder and was largely estranged from her adult relatives and adult daughter. She had also voluntarily given a couple of her own minor children up for adoption. Discussions with family members resolved the issue of who would be named as a beneficiary of the woman’s estate.

The insurance company then acknowledged that it probably could not win a civil wrongful death lawsuit and that legal heirs existed. The case ended with a $400,000 settlement before any family members had to appear in court.

No Virginia wrongful death case is easy. Even when family relations are not strained, simply dealing with legal and insurance issues while grieving can present insurmountable difficulties. As plaintiff’s attorneys, we welcome opportunities to ease the burden of dealing with law enforcement officials, courts and insurance claims adjustors.