Most Wilmington residents can probably tell that if a person suffers a blow or other impact to the head and winds up in a coma, then he or she has suffered serious brain trauma. On the other hand, there may well be a common misconception in Delaware and in the rest of the country that if a person can get up and walk away from a traumatic brain injury, then all will be well and the person can go about his or her life, writing off the injury as an accident almost akin to skinning one’s knee or pulling a muscle.

However, the symptoms of even what doctors call a minor traumatic brain injury can seriously interfere with the way a Delaware resident works and even lives his or her daily life. For instance, even if a victim does not actually go unconscious, he or she may have a dazed or confused feeling. Additionally, the person may have his or her sleep patterns altered and may also feel constant sensation of being off balance. Headaches and nausea are often common as well.

Furthermore, someone who has suffered a minor brain injury may experience difficulty with processing sensory information and could experience blurry eyesight or difficulty with one’s ears. Furthermore, the injury can affect a person’s ability to remember things or to pay attention to details, skills which are quite often necessary for a person to complete his or her work. Anxiety and depression can also affect a person with a brain injury.

In short, while a brain injury may be minor relative to falling in to a long-term coma, no brain injury is minor in the sense that it is really no big deal. All brain injuries are going to require some recovery time and expense, including the possibility that one has to miss work for days or even weeks. These circumstances can set a person back financially, but they may be able to get compensation for their injuries if a negligent party caused them.

A previous post on this blog discussed how the right to sue for wrongful death falls upon a deceased person’s closes relatives. After all, they are the ones who are most likely to suffer both emotionally and financially when someone dies in connection with a preventable accident caused by another person’s negligence.

Some of the expenses a family will no doubt face are funeral expenses and whatever medical bills got charged in connection with any efforts doctors made to save the person’s life before he or she died. Additionally, if the person who died worked, the family will likely be out that person’s wages, a fact which can put long-term financial strain on a family and even force them in to bankruptcy or poverty.

Furthermore, a family who loses a loved one also loses the inherent value that love, affection and companionship that person brings to their lives. This inherent value, though hard to put an exact figure on, is worth some monetary compensation, as is the pain and suffering the victim of the accident suffered before death.

Our law office works hard to get our clients the most compensation we can expect in a given case. We work closely with experts of various fields in order to get a full picture of what someone’s untimely death really costs a family, as that figure is often a lot higher than what anyone might think. We then use that full picture toward getting the best result at trial or during a negotiation or mediation.

While no amount of money can bring a person back, we do try to use the law to help our clients with their bills and costs following a tragedy and, in the process, hold those who could have prevented the loss accountable.

Dump truck accident kills woman

A fatal accident at a Delaware intersection left a 62-year-old woman dead at the scene of the crash. The accident involved a commercial dump truck.

According to police, the driver of the dump truck approached and intersection but disregarded the stop sign. The woman was driving her own car also entered the intersection, where the dump truck struck her vehicle. The driver of the dump truck was not hurt.

While police say that they do not expect that alcohol or illegal substances played a role in this accident, it was not clear whether the driver will be cited for running the stop sign or if he will also face additional citations or even criminal charges in connection with this tragedy. Police spent four hours investigating and cleaning up the crash.

This sad story illustrates that while being drunk or drugged certainly can cause a fatal accident, fatalities can happen on the road for any number of reasons. For instance, the driver of the dump truck could have been too fatigued to drive or could have been distracted by something in his vehicle or even by a thought in his own head. He may well have just simply made a mental error or just didn’t see the stop sign.

Whatever the reason, though, motorists in Delaware, particularly if they are driving a commercial vehicle, have a obligation and important responsibility to follow all traffic laws, including obeying traffic signs and signals. In this case, eligible members the victim’s family may have the option of pursuing compensation against the truck driver and, possibly, his employer by filing a wrongful death cause of action.

Source: Delaware Online, “Woman dies in crash with dump truck southeast of Felton, police say,” Alonzo Small and Xerxes Wilson, Sept. 16, 2017.

Although many people are impacted emotionally, and maybe even financially, after a Wilmington, Delaware resident dies unexpectedly, not everyone can file a wrongful death suit after a fatal accident, even if the accident was caused by someone else’s carelessness.

Although this blog has discussed this before, several months ago, it is worth repeating who can sue for wrongful death and, assuming compensation gets awarded as a result of the suit or of a settlement, who will receive payment.

Under Delaware law, the people who have priority for suing for wrongful death or the deceased person’s husband or wife, children, brothers and sisters, or parents. If those people are unable to decide to file a suit, then any person who is related by blood or an in-law can file a wrongful death action. The idea behind the law is to balance the fact that others really are hurt when someone dies unexpectedly and the death is preventable against the fact that the law simply cannot allow anybody to sue in these circumstance.

The proceeds from a wrongful death case, if any, will go to the deceased person’s heirs or those whom the person wanted to inherit as specified in the patient’s will. This makes sense because those close to the person are the most likely to suffer emotional damages and also the most likely to feel the financial pinch of the person’s death.

Although not every accident is necessarily anyone’s fault, many accidents in Delaware that lead to the untimely death of a person are preventable. In such cases, a grieving family should remember that they have legal options for pursuing compensation, and they may even wish to discuss these options with an experienced Delaware wrongful death attorney.