Recently I came across an article that hit on so many relevant and important parts of Personal Injury Law, I felt I had to share it in this blog. The article by Fox 5 DC’s digital team tells a tragic story. A Grandfather and grandson were struck, and the grandfather killed by a teenager involved in a police chase. (See the link to the full article below.)
Earlier the boy was pulled over because of an expired registration tag. The driver initially acted like he’d pull over but then took off again. He then ran a red light hitting the elderly man and boy as they crossed the street. The boy survived, but his grandfather didn’t make it.
An expired registration and the reckless decision to run cost a man his life. How tragic. How pointless and sad. This is one of those moments where you look a dozen directions trying to find the one responsible and there are so many places to point there appears to be everyone and no one to blame all at once.
Let’s start with the driver. This young man got behind the wheel of a vehicle and then turned it into a killing machine with his reckless and negligent behavior. He must be held accountable for his actions.
What about his parents? You’ve got to wonder what they were thinking to allow a child who obviously makes horrible choices to operate a vehicle. Surely, they deserve some of the blame.
Maybe you see it as a failure on the part of the police officer, maybe he shouldn’t have given chase creating a dangerous situation for an offense as minor as an expired registration tag.
Whoever is at fault, the sad truth is there is no resolution for the victim’s family. The young boy will forever be scarred by the memory of his grandfather’s death. His family will never be the same and nothing can change that. Knowing who to blame simply will not bring their grandfather back.
What makes this worse, if the teen driver was insured, it is not certain his insurance will pay damages to the family. Insurance companies don’t like to pay when their driver was committing a crime which results in a deadly accident. The victim and their family may or may not be awarded a dime, depending on the specific terms and conditions of the policy and the laws of the jurisdiction involved.
In many cases, insurance policies contain exclusions or limitations on coverage for accidents that occur while the insured is engaged in criminal activities. This means that if the driver was committing a crime at the time of the accident, the insurance company may argue that the policy does not cover the incident and may deny the claim. However, the specific language and provisions of the policy will ultimately determine whether the claim is paid or not.
There are jurisdictions that have laws which prohibit insurance companies from denying claims based on the insured’s criminal activity. In these cases, the insurance company might still be obligated to pay the claim, regardless of what the driver was doing at the time.
I pray you’re never in a situation like this, but if you or someone you care about is ever injured or killed as a result of someone committing a crime, I urge you to call my office. With over forty years’ experience handling personal injury claims, we can provide you with guidance based on the specific details of your case and the laws that apply in the jurisdiction where the incident occurred.
We are here for you and ready to help in every way we can.
Until next time, please be safe, and NEVER text while driving!
Attorney Paul Samakow
703-761-4343 or 301-949-1515
Teen hit, 75-year-old man killed by driver fleeing police near National Mall
By Fox 5 DC Digital Team