A horrific car accident in Missouri recently killed a 26-year-old woman who was on her way to the hospital with her husband to deliver her baby. The incredible story of how emergency crews at the scene continued CPR on her body - even though she had already died - in order to keep the baby alive made international headlines.
The little girl did in fact survive.
Now, according to local news reports, the sisters of the deceased woman, after being named guardians of the still-hospitalized child, have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the decedent's husband, the truck driver and a trucking company on behalf of the baby.
At first, this may seem an odd action. But what first of all needs to be stated is that in many car accident lawsuits filed against family members, close friends, and other loved ones, litigation is rarely personal. Rather, it is about maximizing the amount that will be available to injured victims and surviving family members via insurance. Personal injury lawsuits do not begin by naming the insurer. The auto insurer is only later named after liability of an insured has been established.
Secondly in this particular case, there is an assertion that the husband was not the natural child of the father of the baby. He has not contested the guardianship action, though he recently returned home after two weeks in the hospital on the mend from suffering numerous broken bones.
The wrongful death lawsuit alleges that the crash occurred when the husband - his 39-weeks-pregnant wife in the passenger seat - significantly lowered his speed - below the posted speed limit - despite being in a lane that is usually reserved for fast-moving traffic. Plaintiffs call this action careless. Investigating officers did cited husband's "improper lane usage, distracted driving and inattentiveness" as contributing causes to the crash.
However, a truck driver approaching from behind was reportedly speeding excessively and failed to keep a safe distance between his vehicle and others and was traveling too fast. The semi-truck driver reportedly slammed into the back of a silver sport utility vehicle, that in turn struck the decedent's vehicle, ejecting both her and her husband.
Although decedent was not showing signs of life when emergency crews arrived, they began and continued CPR in hopes of keeping the baby alive. Staff at the hospital were able to deliver the child via emergency C-section. Although she appears to be flourishing, plaintiffs have said there is still concern she may have suffered some neurological damage due to lack of oxygen at birth.
In any wrongful death action following a car accident, the first step is to identify who will be the personal representative of decedent's estate. This individual will then have the authority to file litigation on behalf of the estate.
Wrongful death lawsuit claimants may seek to recover:
- Reasonable and necessary medical and funeral expenses;
- Loss of earning capacity;
- Loss of life enjoyment;
- Compensation for the death itself;
- Pain and suffering;
- Loss of consortium.
Plaintiffs are seeking damages in excess of $25,000 from each defendant.
If someone you love has been killed in a Hartford car accident, call our offices today to learn more about how we can help you fight for damages. Contact us today for a free consultation at 1-800-WIN-WIN-1.