As Valentine’s Day approached, our client set out to build a special candle holder as a gift for his wife of 39 years. He took his motorcycle out that Saturday afternoon to pick up a few supplies, and hours later had not yet returned. Concerned about his whereabouts, his wife saw a commotion a few blocks down from her home, and rushed to see what happened.
She soon discovered that her husband had swerved on his motorcycle in an attempt to avoid hitting a neighbor’s dog that had darted into the street. Unfortunately, the sudden maneuver still resulted in a collision with the dog, causing the driver to flip over his motorcycle, land on his helmet and fracture both his skull and neck.
After five excruciating days at the hospital watching her husband fall into a coma and fail to respond to medical efforts, his wife pulled him off life support. Only days before, they had celebrated her birthday and were making plans for Valentine’s Day. His tragic death left his wife, his daughter and his grandson without a spouse, father or grandfather. The grandson, who lived with the decedent and his wife for several years, experienced a tremendous loss with his passing. During the past six years, the decedent, a systems designer and avid musician, served as a role model and father figure to his 14-year-old grandson.
Although the family wanted to pursue a wrongful death suit, limited case information was available due to the family’s grief and need to manage their personal affairs. Our attorney immediately went to work, investigating the accident scene and taking photos of the site to better understand the events that occurred. He discovered that the wrongful death case included a number of insurance factors which he skillfully developed into a cohesive lawsuit.
With the decedent’s untimely, accidental death, multiple policies became active. In addition to obtaining the $1,000,000 policy limits from the insurance company, our attorney secured an additional $50,000 on a life insurance policy from the decedent’s employer. He further argued the conditions of the loss – which involved both injury and death – entitled his wife to double the $50,000 limit, resulting in a $100,000 benefit from the life insurance alone. With the combined settlement funds and life insurance benefits, she and her grandson purchased a home closer to her daughter so they can continue to nurture the relationships her husband had established.