On November 7, 2014 there was a serious motor vehicle accident on Interstate 271 in Richfield, Ohio where two people were killed in the crash. According to reports, the driver of a vehicle traveling southbound on Interstate 271 crossed over into the northbound lanes and struck another vehicle head-on. The accident occurred at about 5:30 p.m. and the highway remained closed until about 9:30 p.m.
Legal Issues Arising from this Car Accident
Under Ohio law, the surviving family members will be entitled to significant monetary compensation for the loss that they have incurred as a result of this accident.
First, the family will almost certainly be entitled to wrongful death compensatory damages. Under the Ohio Wrongful Death Law, compensatory damages include damages for all of the following:
(1) Loss of support from the reasonably expected earning capacity of the decedent;
(2) Loss of services of the decedent;
(3) Loss of the society of the decedent, including loss of companionship, consortium, care, assistance, attention, protection, advice, guidance, counsel, instruction, training, and education, suffered by the surviving spouse, dependent children, parents, or next of kin of the decedent;
(4) Loss of prospective inheritance to the decedent’s heirs at law at the time of the decedent’s death; and
(5) The mental anguish incurred by the surviving spouse, dependent children, parents, or next of kin of the decedent.
Second, the issue of the potential for punitive damages arises. Oftentimes in these types of “wrong way” car accidents, the at-fault driver turns out to have been impaired. When an impaired driver causes an injury or death, the harmed parties may be entitled to recover punitive damages above and beyond the award of compensatory damages. Punitive damages are awarded to punish and deter the driver (and other drivers) from making the same senseless mistake.
Third, in a serious car accident such as this, the at-fault driver’s insurance company will do everything that it can to pay as little as possible, or even try to deny the claim outright. For this reason, the insurance company will often do everything that it can to blame anyone else (or anything else) for the accident, other than the at-fault driver. While insurance company representatives may sound sympathetic on the phone, make no mistake: the insurance company claims adjusters, lawyers, and accident reconstructionists are on the job from day 1 to try and assign blame to anyone or anything other than the at-fault driver. This is why it is critical for a victim’s family to obtain a lawyer immediately to protect their interests throughout the claim process.
If you or a loved one have been the victim of a serious motor vehicle accident, contact Dodosh Law Offices, LLC at (440) 298-2344. Or, you can out a contact form and Attorney Dodosh will get in touch with you.