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a fatal car accident

Discussion in 'Auto Accidents, Injuries' started by myneice, Dec 5, 2003.

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  1. myneice

    myneice Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Hello and thank you for this forum. I'll get right to the point. My niece was involved in a horrible accident last year in New Orleans. It was night time, thunderstorming, she was going under the speed limit, dark road with no street lights. Three people were walking on one side of the sidewalk which began to get flooded. The boy and girl decided to walk in the middle of the street and the other boy decided to walk on the other sidewalk which was not as bad. My niece could only see as far as her headlights would go. By the time she came upon them, she slammed on her brakes but it was too late. The boy and girl in the middle of the street were run over. The boy died and the girl lived with no life threatening injuries. No alcohol or drugs were involved on my nieces part. She was completely exonerated at the scene by the police and there were also witnesses, such as the car right behind her that said that if it had not been her, it would have been them. The people in the street were also wearing dark clothing.

    The police report stated that my niece was not at fault. All of the questions asked were checked "no". It showed that she was not negligent in any way, shape or form.

    Of course, in this day, we all expected that the parents of the boy would more than likely sue because that's just the way it is now. But one of the girls in my niece's car is also suing her. A little background on her...she is a hemophiliac (I am sorry I don't know how to spell that word) and hit her head that has caused her to "bleed out" from time to time. She has told my niece that she was suing the insurance company, not her. But when my sister got the letter yesterday, she is suing her, the girlfriend for being in the middle of the road, among other people. In this suit, as in the previous suit, the lawyers have said phrases like "she was speeding", "reckless driving" , she was "negligent", possibly "consumed alcohol". The police officers have already stated otherwise and that none of these are true. It is on the report in black and white.

    My niece graduates this month from a University down there (3 1/2 years). She has a lot of faith and understands that it truly was not her fault and she "seems" to be handling this fairly well. But, if this were me, it would kill me. She has very high aspirations and wants to go into like government work, etc. I hear that this will follow her.

    Most involved feel that this will never reach trial, however, I would be very upset if I were accused of, or even implied, that I was negligent when I was not.

    I want to know if she has any recourse? Can she counter-sue with a defamation suit? If she doesn't have that, is there a way to get this off her record, or never show up when she applies for her future? It's just beginning for her.

    Thank you very much.
     
  2. lwpat

    lwpat Moderator

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    " She has told my niece that she was suing the insurance company, not her"

    This is basically correct. You sue the individual or business but the insurance company is obligated to defend the suit and pay any award or settlement. The only problem would be in it goes to trial and the court awards more than the insurance coverage. In a case like this the lawyers sue anyone and everyone and can claim anything regardless of the facts. Proving them in court is a different matter.

    "I hear that this will follow her."

    Since she was not issued a citation there will be nothing on her record. There will be a court record of the suit but that will not show on any background check and I know of no employers that have an application requiring disclosure.

    This can happen to anyone at anytime, I know from personal experience, and only time will allow her to put this episode behind her. Please encourge her to seek professional help. Most universities offer free counseling.
     

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