Articles Posted in Wrongful Death

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At least four people were killed when a train crashed into a charter bus in Biloxi, Mississippi on March 7, 2017. Three of the victims died at the accident scene while a fourth passed away while receiving treatment at the hospital. In addition, at least 35 passengers on the bus were either taken by ambulance or airlifted to local hospitals to be treated for various injuries, and many of the victims remain in critical condition. Per one report, every passenger on the bus sustained at least some type of injury.

The bus was a charter bus carrying around 50 people from Austin, Texas to casinos in Biloxi, Mississippi. Most of the passengers on board were senior citizens. The accident occurred around 2:15 p.m. when the bus was either stopped or stuck on train tracks and got hit by a CSX Transportation freight train. The impact between the two vehicles was so severe that the train pushed the bus approximately 300 feet before coming to a stop. Per one witness, the bus had been stopped on the train tracks for several minutes before it was hit. When they saw the train approaching, passengers tried to get off the bus, recognizing the bus was not going to move and the train was not going to be able to stop in time. Some of the injured passengers had to be cut out of the bus in order to be rescued.

Biloxi police and paramedics immediately responded to the scene to investigate and assist the injured bus passengers. Police Chief John Miller described the aftermath as “terrible” and “chaotic.” Witnesses also described the accident in detail. One witness heard the train honk its horn at the bus to move out of the way before the crash. The witness then saw bodies flying all over the bus once it was hit.

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Recently, a tragic bus accident occurred in Newark, New Jersey. Two passenger buses operated by the New Jersey Transit Authority collided with each other while traveling through a busy intersection. Several people were seriously and permanently injured and two people lost their lives.

Sadly, unfortunate accidents like this happen far too often and they leave the individuals and families involved wondering how they will ever be able to get their lives back together.  Attorneys representing 14 of the victims of the accident and their families have reported that they intend to seek at least $115 million in compensation for the permanent injuries suffered by their clients in the crash.

Whenever a person is involved in a car or truck accident through no fault of their own, they can recover compensatory damages for losses caused by the accident. The purpose of these damages is to reimburse the victims for all of the losses that occurred as a result of the accident. The ultimate goal of the law is to put the plaintiff in as good a situation as they were in before their life was disrupted by the injury. When the injury that is suffered is catastrophic in nature, the victim may never be able to physically and emotionally recover completely from the wreck.

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Recently, a two-month-old infant was killed in an automobile accident in Murfreesboro, Tennessee when the baby’s driver rear ended a dump truck as it slowed for traffic. Facing the tragic death of a child is an overwhelming life event. Many times, when the reality is coupled with the knowledge that it was the negligence of another, it can lead to feelings of frustration, guilt, and blame. It is critical during this time that an experienced wrongful death attorney help navigate a mourning family through the challenges faced in a wrongful death claim.

According to Tennessee’s wrongful death laws, when a child’s death is caused by the negligence of another, a claim can be brought for damages. The surviving guardians or personal representative of the child’s estate may pursue both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages typically consist of medical bills from the time of the injury until death and funeral costs. Non-economic damages consist of intangibles that cannot be objectively measured such as pain and suffering and loss of consortium.

Consortium is a legal term that describes non-economic damages sustained by the loss of a loved one, including the loss of companionship, love and affection, and the like. In Tennessee, parents can pursue a claim for loss of consortium for the wrongful death of a child. However, it is important to note that a family is limited to one (1) consortium claim, which more or less will encompass the non-economic losses of all surviving Plaintiffs in a wrongful death claim. It is important to note that the Tennessee state legislature enacted a statutory “cap” effectively placing a ceiling on damages for non-economic damages in the amount of $750,000, unless certain exceptions apply. Under Tennessee law, the damages cap may not apply if a defendant, such as a trucking company, falsified or concealed records or if the at-fault driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the wreck. No such “cap” exists for economic damages.