$4,950,000 Settlement – For Wrongful Death Car Crash With Commercial Vehicle
Shiver Hamilton confidentially settled a wrongful death case in 2014 in south Georgia for just under $5 million. A Florida businessman was driving in Georgia in his personal vehicle when, for reasons that are unknown, he crossed the centerline and struck another vehicle head-on. The crash resulted in the death of a man returning home from work at a factory. He tragically left behind a wife and three young sons.
Shiver Hamilton fights to obtain justice for families who have suffered due to the negligence of others throughout metro Atlanta and the entire state of Georgia. The decedent’s family obtained legal representation in south Georgia and sought to settle the case with the insurance company of the man who had been at fault in the crash. Their lawyer was unable to negotiate an acceptable settlement with the insurance company, and wisely recognized that the scope of the case demanded the involvement of a larger firm with the resources and experience to confront the large insurance company in a wrongful death case on an equal footing. It was important to the family of the decedent that the case not be dragged out in a long litigation. Their lawyer reached out and brought Shiver Hamilton onto the case. Within 30 days, the case was settled for $4.95 million. The money for the three minor children was put into a structured settlement so that all of their educational needs would be taken care of and have guaranteed income through their early adulthood to replace what their father could have provided for them.
Despite the quick resolution, Shiver Hamilton performed significant investigative work in the case. The driver at fault in the accident carried only $100,000 of liability coverage on his personal vehicle. The company he worked for, however, had $5 million worth of liability coverage, so if Shiver Hamilton’s attorney’s could demonstrate that the driver was on a work-related trip the larger amount would apply. The insurance company’s defense team argued that the businessman had not been working at the time of the accident.
The details are confidential, but Shiver Hamilton was able to conclusively demonstrate that his activities were within the course and scope of his work responsibilities for his company when the wreck occurred. The company recognized that they would be found responsible for the driver’s negligence and liable for the larger settlement. They also knew that Shiver Hamilton is one of the most experienced and successful firms that handles wrongful death cases in Georgia. Had the case gone to trial it might have yielded a much larger judgement, but the settlement was absolutely the right thing to do for the family of the man who had lost his life.
Wrongful death cases are complex. In the eyes of the law, wrongful death means that it resulted from another’s negligent or intentional act. Preponderance of evidence is the standard used in civil cases to assess culpability. It basically means better and more convincing evidence than the other side in the civil case presents. The plaintiff in a wrongful death lawsuit must show, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the defendant was culpable, or legally responsible, for the death.
Damage assessments are also complicated and can vary widely from case to case, sometimes even when circumstances are similar. That’s why it is so important to have a strong legal advocate like Shiver Hamilton, with significant experience and resources, in order to get the largest settlements possible.
Compensation in a wrongful death case includes both monetary and non-monetary damages. Monetary damages include lost income over the lifetime of the decedent and costs related to the death, such as funeral expenses or medical bills. Intangible things like the pain and suffering felt by the decedent between the accident and his death, as well as by family members after are non-monetary damages. This includes basically the full value of the life that was lost, all the things that make life valuable, all the things the man who died in this accident and his family will never experience; his companionship with his wife and his children, being able to watch and guide them as they grow up.
Shiver Hamilton has won some of the highest settlements and verdicts for wrongful death cases in the state of Georgia. The skilled attorneys of Shiver Hamilton strive to put grieving families on an equal footing with insurance companies or corporate defendants. Insurance companies representing firms that have had serious workplace accidents or deaths have an adversarial relationship to victim’s families. They immediately and aggressively begin gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, and seek to build a defense to protect themselves from liability. Shiver Hamilton recognizes that families of people who have died in workplace accidents need a strong advocate through the legal process to protect their rights at precisely the time they are most incapacitated by grief.
Shiver Hamilton brings compassion and zeal to every case. They dedicate whatever resources are necessary to make sure clients are treated fairly and that justice is done. They don’t take quick settlements that leave clients’ families unable to recover from the financial and emotional loss of a loved one’s wrongful death. They know there is more at stake than just a legal judgement, that clients often need counsel across a range of problems and issues that transcend the particulars of their case. They value the people they represent as deserving of justice and respect.
The lawyers of Shiver Hamilton also prepare all their cases to go to trial, alerting insurance companies and corporate defendants that they won’t settle for anything less than full justice for their clients. Preparing the case for trial is the only way to consistently achieve the best outcomes for clients. Opposing counsel must know that Shiver Hamilton’s clients are represented by skilled and experienced trial lawyers with all the necessary legal resources to win jury judgements.