Suing A Close Friend or Relative May Be Unavoidable and Costly if Delayed

January 5, 2012

A Madison County driver has been charged with DUI manslaughter and vehicular homicide for the death of a passenger killed when he lost control of the vehicle and crashed last October, according to www.wtxl.com. On October 15 of last year, Henry Lee Robertson, Jr., was driving his car along US Highway 90 when he lost control of the vehicle, striking a telephone junction box and several trees before coming to a full stop. According to police, Henry had been drinking and his blood alcohol level was .224. Henry had two passengers with him in the car: Jamie O'Neal Hampton and Jerry Lacadrick Miller. They were all wearing their seat belts, but while Henry and Jamie survived, Jerry did not.

Having motor vehicle operators held criminally responsible if someone dies as a result of them negligently operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or having these drivers held liable in civil court for the damages that their negligent driving caused, is not news. Therefore, we should not be surprised if the estate of Mr. Miller files suit for wrongful death against Mr. Robertson and his insurance company....

Yet, our experience over a combined 60 years of practice, has taught us that some victims hesitate to file a claim against the responsible driver due to a feeling of guilt over suing a relative or a close friend.

You Are Not Suing Your Friend Or Relative, But Their Insurance Company

The reality is that crash victims need financial help in order to provide for their medical care and daily support. In spite of this, we continue to see the injured pause in their pursuit of justice because they do not feel comfortable seeking financial compensation from a dear friend or a close relative. What these victims fail to realize is that in reality they are not taking money from a friend or relative, but from their insurance company who has for years charged and collected premiums for the coverage they provide.

Moreover, accident victims fail to realize that this hesitation may cost them dearly...The law provides for a limited amount of time from the day of the accident to bring a claim in court. The time taken by these victims or relatives of victims to make up their minds may cost them the ability to legally bring suit.

Even when it does not take crash victims years to realize that they have no choice but to go to court, the delay (however brief) in hiring an attorney may have already caused irreparable damage to their case. Insurance companies require the immediate notification of an accident by the insured. This prompt action allows these insurance carriers to immediately send their professional investigators to the crash scene and start collecting valuable evidence that may otherwise be lost, as well as interview witnesses while the events of the accident are still fresh in their minds. The victims should also have professional investigators (and experienced lawyers) working hard to ensure that they get a fair compensation.

If you have been injured by the negligence of another or if you have lost a loved one due to another's negligent acts, you should immediately contact a law firm experienced in handling personal injury cases. The Miami Dade County Personal Injury Law Offices of Greenberg, Stone & Urbano have throughout the years represented many clients involved in fatal personal injury cases, as well as cases where people have suffered traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries as a result of serious accidents. Visit our website to learn more about us and contact us today for a free consultation.