Auto accidents, including motorcycle accidents, can sometimes lead to settlement cases. In extreme cases, auto accidents can lead to deaths and in some situations, wrongful death settlement cases.
An example settlement case where this occurred happened in 2019 when three teenagers passed away after a fatal car accident. Let's review what happened and the settlement that came along with this particular case that occurred in the Mt. Pleasant, Utah area.
On November 10, 2020, the parents of Julie Oldroyd and Kodi Wheeler filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Sanpete County. The plaintiffs in this case alleged that Sanpete County was responsible for the deaths of their two teenagers, Julie and Kodi, because the county knew about a dangerous blind hill on the road where the fatal accident occurred and failed to do anything about it.
The accident took place on May 3, 2019. Two teenaged boys were stopped in a flatbed pickup on Power Plant Road after mud bogging just off the road. Mud bogging is a recreational activity where the boys were intentionally driving the pickup through shallow water.
The accident occurred when another car drove over a blind hill at a high speed and hit the flatbed pickup. The flatbed was not properly attached to the pickup, causing the second car to go under the flatbed. This fatal accident resulted in the deaths of three teenagers in the second vehicle, an eighteen-year-old boy named Ryan Lyman, a sixteen-year-old girl named Julie Oldroyd, and another sixteen-year-old girl named Kodi Wheeler. The two teenagers in the pickup and the driver of the second vehicle were unharmed.
According to the Utah Highway Patrol (UHP) report, the driver drove over a blind hill on Power Plant Road at 90 miles per hour and hit the stopped flatbed pickup at 77 miles per hour.
The driver of the car was charged with three counts of reckless endangerment (Class A misdemeanors) and three counts of reckless driving (Class B misdemeanors).
The driver of the flatbed pickup was charged with three counts of reckless driving (Class B misdemeanors), one count of being an unlicensed driver (an infraction), and one count of stopping and parking on a road (an infraction).
Another issue in the case was the blind hill, the grandfather of one of the deceased spoke about how this blind hill was so steep that a driver could not see what is on the other side until they are already over the crest of the hill.
Some of the family members worked to gather evidence that showed other accidents had also occurred on that same blind hill, but the county had yet to take any action regarding the hill.
The plaintiffs in this wrongful death case were the parents of two of the deceased teenagers, Julie Oldroyd and Kodi Wheeler and the defendant in this case was Sanpete County. The lawsuit sought more than $10 million in special, general, and punitive damages for each set of parents.
There are many benefits to pre-settlement funding in a case like this one. In a fatal vehicular accident, there are going to be many costs involved like medical and funeral expenses. Some of these costs won't be able to wait until after a lawsuit is finalized.
For example, the accident occurred in May of 2019 and the lawsuit began in November of 2020, but due to Covid-19, the lawsuit was not able to come to court until 2022. Many lawsuits can take a long time to come to a conclusion, leaving settlement plaintiffs financially vulnerable during difficult times.
Fortunately, there is pre-settlement funding for situations like this one where plaintiffs can get their settlement money early. This can prevent plaintiff's from having to settle for less by settling early when finances are tight after an auto accident.
If you are an attorney whose settlement client is waiting for a lengthy case to conclude for the financial support they need, contact Scryp Legal Funding at scryplegalfunding.com to see how Scryp Legal Funding can help your client.
Call, L. (2019, August 21). Officials mull road changes, two teens charged, in triple fatal auto accident in May. Sanpete Messenger. https://sanpetemessenger.com/offcials-mull-road-changes-two-teens-charged-in-triple-fatal-auto-accident-in-may/
Clark, S. (2022, September 7). Manti family suing Sanpete County for wrongful death, claiming road was unsafe. Sanpete Messenger. https://sanpetemessenger.com/manti-family-suing-sanpete-county-for-wrongful-death-claiming-road-was-unsafe/