Wrongful Death Case: Negligence Pedestrian Accident Case

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Butler Kahn recently settled a fatal pedestrian accident case for $1.25 million, the full insurance limits. Our firm had the privilege of representing the family of Mr. Roy Goss in this wrongful death case. Mr. Goss was killed while crossing the street in his electric mobility scooter in rural southwest Georgia.

We have changed the names in this written description of the case, but it is otherwise accurate.

Facts of the Pedestrian Accident

On April 26, 2021, just before 4:30 p.m., Mr. Goss was crossing US Highway 27 from the exit of a Circle K convenience store in a rural town in Southwest Georgia. Mr. Goss was disabled due to a below-the-knee amputation, so he used an electric mobility scooter to get around.

Gathering Evidence in Wrongful Death Case

We knew we faced an uphill battle from the beginning of this case because the police report listed Mr. Goss as the at-fault party in the collision. We moved quickly to gather important evidence, including the surveillance footage that showed the white sedan speeding and colliding with Mr. Goss. Attorney Jeb Butler also met with several witnesses, one of whom testified by affidavit that the driver of the white sedan was “flying” as she approached the Circle K.

The driver’s saying she “didn’t see him” was not a very good excuse. It was broad daylight on a clear, sunny day. When Mr. Goss first entered the roadway, the driver was several hundred feet down the road, which would have given her plenty of time to stop or otherwise avoid hitting him. We suspected the driver was distracted in some way, so we made sure that the driver’s cell phone and cell records were preserved as evidence. We also hired an accident reconstruction expert to inspect the scene and the vehicles involved.

Wrongful Death Settlement

The driver’s insurance company initially tried to get Mr. Goss’s family to settle the case for just $250,000 without disclosing the fact that there was also a million-dollar umbrella insurance policy. When we called to request to inspect the driver’s vehicle, the insurance adjuster invited us to send a settlement offer for $250,000 with the suggestion that the insurance company would consider paying that amount without the need for an inspection. Based on our experience dealing with insurance companies and our knowledge of how insurance policies are sold, we strongly suspected there was something the insurance company was not telling us. We warned the insurance company that we intended to file a complaint with the Georgia Insurance Commissioner after it failed to disclose all policies of insurance that did or may have provided coverage for the collision, in violation of the clear requirements under Georgia law. Our suspicions proved correct, and the insurance company then reluctantly disclosed the $1,000,000 umbrella policy.

We sent the insurance company a carefully and strategically written settlement offer giving it one chance to pay the full policy limits of $1.25 million. This put the insurance company in a difficult position because if it refused to pay, it would then place its customer at risk of losing everything. Had the insurance company failed to pay when it should have, we would have proceeded to take the case to trial and obtained a judgment against the driver. The driver, who would be personally liable for any amount above the $1.25 million insurance limits. Here, the insurance company recognized that we had a strong case and paid the full policy limits of $1.25 million.

Learn more about wrongful death cases: https://butlerfirm.com/atlanta-wrongful-death-lawyers/

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