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$1,250,000 SETTLEMENT - Distracted Driver Kills Pedestrian - Death of 21-Year-Old Man

Our client, a 21-year-old man, was walking in the marked shoulder of a roadway at night and was killed when hit from behind by an SUV driven by a distracted driver who was glancing at his mobile device. The defendant pled guilty to two motor vehicle violations (including failure to stay in his lane). His insurance company made several attempts to mitigate the defendant’s responsibility for the accident as well as exclude coverage, all of which failed.

The insurance company then argued that the value of our client’s life was worth less than the full $1,250,000 in coverage. We filed a lawsuit on behalf of the victim’s estate and sought a pre-judgment remedy (PJR) against the defendant. We informed the insurance company that if it did not offer the full $1,250,000 policy limits before the PJR hearing, we would instead seek a larger judgment based upon the insurer’s failure to properly protect the insured. Because the damages for a wrongful death of a 21-year-old, where liability is conclusively established, well exceeds the full $1,250,000 policy limits, the carrier agreed to pay the $1,250,000 to resolve the case.
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