When you lose a loved one under tragic circumstances, the anger, sadness, and grief are immeasurable. In this case, a young man’s life was just starting. The 21-year-old musician started programs in his high school, paving the way for many “lost souls” to find their way through music. What music could he have made? Whose lives would he have touched? All the potential this young man had was snuffed out of existence because of another’s negligence.
Despite the circumstances, the insurance companies, as they always do, tried to shift blame and delay, while a grieving family was left to bury their son.
Every parent lives in a perpetual state of fear knowing how fragile life is? Thankfully for most, it’s something that they’ll never have to deal with. But this particular family was not so fortunate.
Tragedy Strikes and A Young Life is Taken
July is a great month for a road trip when you’re young. That is exactly what the 21-year-old musician thought as he made plans to meet with friends over the summer break. Sadly, he would never make it.
As he traveled down the Massachusetts Turnpike, he came across a construction zone. Responsibly and safely, the young man made sure to come to a complete stop. The industrial tow truck behind him did not. The massive truck hit the back of the man’s car, then vaulted on top of it. The 21-year-old was crushed and killed instantly.
Why You Need Colucci, Colucci & Marcus?
First of all, our law firm Colucci, Colucci & Marcus, P.C., no matter how big we may have become, is still a family-run business that cares about its clients. Sitting across from a devasted family is quite simply the single hardest thing to do in the realm of personal injury law. At that moment, it’s more than a case; it’s a search for truth, accountability, and closure. We promised this family that, although all of the investigative material had been impounded by the State Police, we would do our own investigation and get to the truth. Which we did.
Working closely with the State Police and District Attorney’s Office we ran down every lead, particularly when the insurance company made a claim that the victim had actually rear-ended the car in front of him “before” he was struck. Even though we knew that claim was specious, we had to disprove it nonetheless. Most people don’t know that more modern cars have a data recorder, which is tantamount to an airplane’s “Black Box”. We made sure that the investigative bodies harvested this recorder and transcribed the information which unequivocally disproved the insurance companies’ initial stance. Simultaneously, we focused on obtaining persuasive information that displayed the type of person this young man was. We felt it essential to demonstrate and, in essence, bring to life the spirit of this extraordinary young man. Quite simply, we wouldn’t permit the insurance companies to know only the metrics when reviewing a file (21-year-old, male, no spouse, no kids, small earning history). Instead, we presented them with a compendium of material that laid out the whole case in persuasive fashion, including embedding a video within our Settlement Package that contained interviews with his teachers, his friends, and had his parents fully describing this incredible young man. We also obtained a video that was created by the college he attended, filled with stories and heartfelt interviews with his fellow classmates.
The turning point came when the insurance companies refused to deal with the matter “until the conclusion of the criminal inquiry”. But due to Covid, the court would not be able to reach any conclusion until nearly 2 years after the accident. We then argued both insurance companies had already interviewed the tow truck driver. Although they wouldn’t admit to the content of the conversation, we theorized to them that the tow truck driver most likely told them what he had told investigators, that he “looked down at his gauges, and when he looked up he only then recognized that traffic had stopped.” Thus, they had enough knowledge of their insured’s responsibility and to deny negotiating the claim simply because the criminal investigation was ongoing was tantamount to an “Unfair and Deceptive Settlement Practice” which is specifically prohibited by Massachusetts law and could subject the companies to punitive damages that would increase the award. In the face of the above, the two insurance companies involved rethought their position and agreed to compensate the family for the full policy limits available, which amounted to 6 Million Dollars. With the money, the family plans to start a foundation aimed at helping students get opportunities that they otherwise might not have had, all in the name of their son.