A wrongful death suit brought against an elderly driver who rammed her vehicle into a Wendy’s restaurant in Bayonne, New Jersey has settled for $1.2 million.
The driver unintentionally crashed through the entrance of the Wendy’s, resulting in the death of an elderly patron of the restaurant. The driver’s car struck the victim and sent him flying into the wall, but the shock prevented her from stopping the car. The acceleration of the car caused her to further run the victim over.
Witnesses at the scene described blood-stained walls and broken glass littering the floor.
The victim, though critically injured, did not die at the scene. He was left fighting for his life for several weeks after the accident before finally succumbing to his injuries.
Who Was Responsible?
Law enforcement declined to press criminal charges against the driver, instead giving her a careless driving citation. The citation came with a $200 penalty.
Though no criminal charges were filed, the victim’s family chose to file a wrongful death suit and take the driver to court. The elderly driver was not the only defendant, with her husband being listed as a co-defendant. The victim’s family accuses the husband of negligently allowing his wife access to his vehicle.
The family of the victim watched him struggle for his life for weeks after the accident. When the victim expired, the family was then saddled with the exorbitant medical costs of a multi-week hospital stay and had to make funeral arrangements.
Had the family decided against pursuing a wrongful death claim, they would have been burdened by the expenses due to the driver’s negligence without any recourse for compensation. The $1.2 million settlement will help offset the accumulated costs of the accident.
While the victim’s family is happy for the legal battle to finally be over, they wish the driver would have taken responsibility for her actions. They also regret that the court did not revoke the driver’s license, instead allowing her to continue driving in New Jersey.
Wrongful Death in New Jersey
When a loved one dies due to someone else’s negligence, close family members may sue for wrongful death and what are called survival benefit damages. The damages they may be awarded are for the period of time the person who died suffered pain from their injuries, medical expenses, death-related expenses such as funeral and burial, loss of contribution or support to family members, and other losses.
The loss of companionship and guidance may also be awarded a monetary value in a wrongful death lawsuit, but emotional or grief damages are not covered in New Jersey.
Ordinarily, the wrongful death and survival claim case must be filed within a time of two years from the date the accident, but for certain types of claims, two years from the date of death. However, it is important you retain competent legal counsel as soon as possible to protect you and y our family’s legal rights. Some cases require a notice of claim to be filed within 90 days, so do not wait to hire an attorney.
Hire an Experienced Wrongful Death Attorney to Handle Your Wrongful Death Case
Losing a loved one to someone else’s negligence is traumatic enough. With a capable attorney, the financial burdens that arise from an unexpected loss can be mitigated by receiving the compensation that you’re entitled to. If you’ve lost a loved one and think you may have a wrongful death case, contact Rosner Law at (856) 502-1655 for a free consultation.