On July 14 at 2:30 AM Chevrolet Malibu driven by Jesse Butler, 30, was going east on Highway 30. The vehicle did not negotiate a left curve and smashed through the guardrail. The car rolled several times, went 200 feet, and slammed into a utility pole. The driver was ejected from the Malibu and died. The passenger, Travis Culbertson, 36, also died.
It is common Oregon for car passengers to be injured or killed in single-vehicle crashes. If the driver of that vehicle was at fault for the accident, it is natural to wonder if it is possible to file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. In short, the answer is yes.
In the above crash, it seems that the driver who died was negligent because he did not drive around the left curve safely. The passenger passed away. If the police conclude the driver was at fault, a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family of the deceased passenger would have more weight.
Even if the driver and passenger were friends, this should not stop you or loved ones from filing a lawsuit. For the most part, auto accident lawsuits and settlements are paid out by auto insurance companies, not from the personal assets of the driver or his/her estate. In a few cases, it is possible that the deceased driver had substantial assets and the estate would have to pay some of the damages. But in most accidents, the insurance company handles the loss. So there usually is no reason for the person or the family to not seek damages in a lawsuit.
However, some accidents involve several passengers who were injured or died. Few auto insurance policies have enough coverage to handle hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars in damages. In this situation, if passengers died, there would be millions of dollars in possible damages, and the insurance would not cover everything. The estate of the deceased would be looked to next, but if there is no money there, much of those damages could go unpaid.
If you were in a single-vehicle accident as the passenger and were hurt, you can file a personal injury lawsuit and recover compensation for your injuries. You could be entitled to damages, such as for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life. Also, if your loved one died in a single-vehicle crash as a passenger, you can file wrongful death claim and be compensated for your devastating loss.
The Herron Law Office has many years of experience holding responsible drivers liable for their careless actions that led to your injuries. Please contact The Herron Law Office today for a free consultation.
5285 Meadows Road, Suite 204, Lake Oswego, Oregon