When a grieving family contacts Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers about a wrongful death case, they’re devastated by the loss of their loved one. They’re often reluctant to start a wrongful death claim because it’s not necessarily about the money. The loss goes much deeper.
That was the case with a San Francisco Bay Area family who reached out to us after their family member, a young man, was struck in traffic by a negligent driver. He was rushed to the hospital for emergency treatment but died four days later after succumbing to his injuries.
Understandably, the family was in shock over the loss and wanted the negligent driver to be held accountable. But as you’ll read below, there were several challenges that made this an especially difficult situation.
Sally’s Team Investigates the Details of a Wrongful Death
At Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers, we start every wrongful death case with a sympathetic and compassionate discussion with the family members. In this case, the family explained that the young man’s hospital bills were more than $350,000, plus they needed help putting the responsibility where it belonged.
The negligent driver was using a rented pickup truck when he hit the young man and had previously declined anything more than the minimum insurance coverage from the rental company. He also had no other personal auto insurance and certainly wasn’t offering to make things right!
Our legal team did an in-depth investigation and concluded that there was only about $30,000 available in insurance coverage, which is very little compared to the family’s $350,000 in medical bills. As an added challenge, the $30,000 went to the court through interpleading. Our wrongful death legal experts determined that bringing a California survival action did not make sense in this case, as any financial recovery in that action (which would also have to come from the $30,000 insurance coverage) would be totally “consumed” by the medical bills.
An interpleading typically occurs when there are multiple claimants after an accident. It means the company paying on the claim – in this case, the insurance carrier – deposits the money with the court and leaves the claimants to fight amongst themselves to divvy it up.
This creates a contentious legal situation that’s a huge hassle for a family that’s already suffering from a profound loss. If you find yourself in this situation, you’ll need a lawyer’s help to continue the legal battle and prove you deserve any portion of the money the court is holding.
Fighting for a Worthwhile Cause
The family made it clear that this battle was worth fighting in the name of their deceased loved one. While we understood that this case would be extremely time-consuming and might not result in a high-value award, we continued to fight on our clients’ behalf.
Our next step was to round up all of the other claimants who were trying to obtain a portion of the money and speak with them together as a group. We spearheaded a negotiation that brought everyone onto the same page about the settlement.
It took two full years to get through all the paperwork and the tedious court process. We continued to doggedly pursue this case and ultimately secured a significant win for this bereaved family.
In the end, the family gained 65% of the available insurance funds and our legal team negotiated a complete waiver of the health insurance liens. That’s right – we negotiated with the health insurance providers to cancel 100% of the hospital bills so the family wouldn’t be left with any of the medical debt.
Compassionate Legal Help After A Wrongful Death
We did everything we could to help the young man’s family collect the maximum amount of money from the claim. The family was extremely grateful for the time and effort that went into their son’s case and finally felt that they could begin to move forward.
Our team is well-known for having an open and empathetic communication style that grieving families welcome in difficult times. Please contact us to seek the wrongful death compensation you deserve, just as this wonderful Bay Area family did.
We Handle Your Wrongful Death Claim So You Can Focus on Your Life
After a wrongful death, contact the attorneys at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers. We handle many areas of the law, including wrongful death cases. We believe you should be able to focus on moving forward while we handle the legal details.
We truly care about the people of California. Contact us today for a free online case evaluation.