Fatal crash caused by pothole results in award of $1.8M to family

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It is a sad reality that individuals throughout the state of Ohio, including those residing in Franklin County, regularly lose their lives in automobile accidents. Often these incidents are due to the actions of other drivers. While on many occasions those actions could be considered negligent, there are times when that is not the case. An example of this is the death of an Ohio woman in a crash several years ago.

The woman died when the vehicle she occupied was struck head-on by a truck. The collision occurred when the driver of that truck steered the truck into the lane the woman was driving in. The reason the truck driver did this was because his vehicle struck a pothole.

Following the woman’s death her family filed wrongful death lawsuits against both the truck company as well as the Ohio Department of Transportation. The reasoning behind the lawsuit against the transportation company was that but for the large pothole, the collision would not have occurred. The family’s case was successful and recently the Supreme Court of Ohio sent a release regarding damages connected to the matter.

In total, the court awarded $3.3 million to the woman’s husband and two grown children. That amount, which was broken down into the household services the deceased would have performed, lost wages and “loss of society and mental anguish,” was reduced to $1.8 million. The reduction was due to collateral benefits the man and his children received previously in the case against the trucking company.

When a loved one is lost in a fatal accident and negligence on the part of another is to blame, a wrongful death lawsuit may be appropriate. In these cases it is best to file such a lawsuit sooner rather than later. The failure to do so in a timely manner could result in the running of the statute of limitations.

Source: FOX 19, “ODOT to pay $1.8M to family of woman killed in crash caused by pothole,” Kelly Taylor, Sept. 9, 2013