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Automobile Collisions / Workers' Compensation

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Halloween prank causes serious personal injury to child

Personal injury claims surface from a myriad of circumstances. If someone's negligence, error or deliberate action results in injury to another, there can be a basis for seeking compensation to help victims recover. When a car or truck is involved, the accident investigation usually focuses on driver distraction, bad weather or perhaps a vehicle malfunction. Sometimes, however, liability for the accident rests with someone outside the vehicle.

This is the situation being reported in another state. The accident happened on Halloween 2011. A little girl was hit by a Ford F250 truck when she ran into a street. Records show she suffered serious injuries to her head, arms, legs, back, neck and spine. Her family states some of the injuries are permanent.

Illustrating why personal injury claims can be complex and benefit from a knowledgeable evaluation of all of the facts, this matter has become the basis of a lawsuit filed by the girl's family, with multiple defendants named in the complaint.

Reports are a man dressed frightfully and carrying a real chainsaw intended to scare a group of trick-or-treating children. As they approached the home where he was hiding, he allegedly revved the chainsaw. This caused the children, including the plaintiff's daughter, to run in all directions. The injured child ran into the street where she was hit by the pickup truck. The plaintiff claims it was foreseeable that the defendant's action would likely cause one or more of the children to run into the well-known busy street, causing harm.

The homeowner, her insurance company and the driver of the truck are co-defendants in the lawsuit. The victim's father reports that the insurer refused to engage in settlement negotiations. His position is that since the saw-wielding man was a guest in the home insured by the defendant company, and it's alleged he conspired with the homeowner to create the prank, liability rests with them. Negligence is alleged against the homeowner herself because she didn't stop the dangerous prank.

Source: Courthouse News Service, "Family Says Chainsaw Prank Wasn’t Funny," Ted Wheeler, May. 22, 2015

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