Today there was a terrible traffic accident on Interstate 77 North near Route 82 in Broadview Heights, Ohio. It has been confirmed that David Starr and Gail Bradley of Media died as a result of the accident. They were 33 and 57 years old, respectively. Although the precise facts of the accident are unknown at this time due to conflicting reports, an initial determination as to liability will be determined in the near future.
In addition to the emotional toll, this situation raises several legal issues that will affect the victims and the representatives of their estates. First and foremost will be the initial determination of liability. Overcoming an adverse initial liability finding can be extremely difficult. This is why it will be important for the respective parties to retain legal counsel early in order to make sure that the accident is properly reconstructed and that liability is accurately assigned.
The next issue will be determining the state of Ohio’s potential liability with respect to this accident. ODOT has refused to do any interviews with respect to the accident and the specifics of the barriers that were chosen to be placed in this area. Whenever state entities are involved, there is the potential for the government to make “immunity” arguments and try to avoid any assignment of any liability. It will be important for the families’ attorneys to overcome these arguments depending on the facts of the case. Our firm is handling several such cases right now.
Other issues that will arise will be opening estates, dealing with insurance adjusters, and potentially filing wrongful death claims and survival actions. Experts may need to be consulted with respect to the deceased’s lost wages and future earning potential. Medical experts may need to author various reports. In sum, the task at hand for these families and other families that experience these awful losses is tremendous.
If you have questions about any of the legal issues raised in this blog, contact Dodosh Law Offices, LLC at (440) 298-2344 Or, you can fill out a contact form and Attorney Dodosh will get in touch with you.