Nicki Minaj Family Files Wrongful Death Action
April 8, 2021 | Personal Injury
The survivors of 64-year-old Robert Maraj, who was killed in a tragic hit-and-run, recently filed a $150 million wrongful death claim in New York Supreme Court.
Attorneys Paul J. Napoli and Ben Crump will represent the family in court. According to investigators, Maraj was walking on a Mineola roadway when a man, later identified as 70-year-old Charles Polevich, struck him and knocked him over.
Polevich apparently got out of his car, checked on Maraj, then fled the scene. He later surrendered as authorities investigated the wreck.
In a statement, Marc Gann, Polevich’s attorney, denied that his client was negligent.
In most pedestrian accidents, the tortfeasor (negligent driver) is travelling at or near top speed at the moment of impact.
Typically, these incidents happen in non-intersections and outside marked crosswalks. As a result, the pedestrian fatality rate is extremely high.
Even if victims survive pedestrian accidents, they normally sustain extremely serious injuries, such as:
- Head Injuries: The motion of a pedestrian accident, as opposed to the trauma impact, often causes a head injury. When people fall and land hard, their brains slam against the insides of their skulls.
- Broken Bones: These incidents often shatter bones instead of merely breaking them. As a result, doctors must use invasive surgical techniques to set these bones. Thereafter, the victims must undergo long-term physical therapy. Even after all these things, some permanent loss of use is almost inevitable.
- Nerve Injuries: People who fall normally extend their arms to brace themselves. This natural reaction often leads to permanent nerve damage in the brachial plexus area of the body under the arms. This damage affects the entire body.
Because of these often-catastrophic injuries, compensation in pedestrian accident claims is normally high.
These victims need this money to pay sky-high medical bills and otherwise put their lives back together. Compensation is even higher in many wrongful death claims. More on that below.
Proving Liability in Hit-and-Run Claims
Unless the tortfeasor voluntarily comes forward, as was the case in the above story, or the tortfeasor is apprehended at the scene, most of these cases go unresolved.
Law enforcement agencies don’t like to expend limited resources on what they see as civil disputes.
Additionally, because of the high burden of evidence in criminal court, prosecutors must have an overwhelming amount of evidence to convict defendants, at least in most cases.
These circumstances are much different regarding injury claims. Attorneys are dedicated to fair compensation for victims, no matter what it takes. Lack of commitment is not a problem.
Perhaps more importantly, the burden of proof in civil court is only a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not).
Assume a witness gives a private investigator a partial license plate number and a vague description of the tortfeasor’s vehicle. This evidence is almost useless in criminal court.
It’s probably not even sufficient to obtain a search warrant.
However, an attorney can use these nuggets to track down vehicle owners. If the owner frequents the area of the accident and doesn’t have an ironclad alibi, it’s more likely than not that this person was the hit-and-run driver.
Wrongful Death Damages
No amount of money can possibly replace the life of a loved one. But the available compensation reduces the grief that survivors feel and gives them the tools they need to move on with their lives.
Generally, that’s the best possible result in a situation like this one.
Most of the compensation represents lost future emotional and financial support.
It is practically impossible to translate emotional support into financial compensation.
The amount of lost future financial support is difficult to calculate as well, especially if the decedent was a young person.
So, a New York personal injury attorney often partners with other professionals, like psychologists and accountants, to ascertain a fair amount of compensation.
Procedurally, most wrongful death claims settle during mediation. A third-party mediator meets with both sides and encourages them to settle the claim.
This process usually involves a combination of finding common ground and an honest assessment of a party’s claims or defenses. If both sides negotiate in good faith, mediation typically works.
Survivors of deceased pedestrian accident victims are usually entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced New York personal injury attorney.
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