We were initially contacted by Duane’s neighbor, and afterward, by Duane, to inform them about his trauma following his and his wife’s car accident. At the time, he was working his way through funeral issues.

In the first meeting with the client, attorneys from Charles Boyk Law Firm met with Duane and several of his children. A lawyer was able to visit the Shively home and see where Duane and Diana lived, meet their children and grandchildren, see their cats and dogs, and get an understanding of the deep and devastating loss to the entire family.

The reason the client decided to hire the Boyk Law Firm is that it is a local law firm. The firm was recommended by one of the client’s best friends, who was a neighbor of the Shivelys and a Boyk client. When the lawyer visited the house, he found that he and Duane had a lot in common. The family knew that the Boyk Law Firm could be trusted and would work on the case as if they were members of the family themselves.

Documents to File

At the first client meeting, a contract was signed to retain Boyk services. The paperwork for that was needed to file an estate in the State of Ohio and was required for medical and employment authorizations to obtain all the relevant documents.

To bring a wrongful death claim, an individual must open up an estate for the deceased person. In this case, there was a will with Duane named as the executor, the person in charge of the estate. The Boyk Law Firm completed all the probate paperwork and filed the estate initially. Once Duane was appointed as the executor of the estate, he could sign legal documents so the firm could obtain medical and employment records to verify the loss. After obtaining the required documents, the firm filed the lawsuit against the owner of the car, the driver of the car, and Duane’s and Diana’s underinsured motorist coverage.

The Boyk Law Firm requested from the client the probate paperwork, medical authorizations, employment authorizations, copies of the will and the trust, pictures, and essential paperwork and background information for Diana.

Deciding to Pursue a Lawsuit

Usually, in a case like this, one would ask the underinsured motorist carrier for authority to accept the liability limits, so the claim is only against the underinsured motorist carrier.

In this case, the insurer offered the policy limits before the lawsuit, and the Boyk Law Firm decided to decline their policy limits.

Strategically, the lawyers wanted to keep them in the case because the driver of the vehicle had prior alcohol-related convictions, driving suspensions and accidents, and was driving recklessly in awful conditions.

The attorneys believed that if they were allowed to tell the jury the entire story, it would increase the value of the case.

If the plaintiff’s team had accepted the policy limits earlier on, a large portion of the liability story would not be allowed into evidence by the judge. The plaintiff’s team would be precluded from talking about the prior negative conduct of the driver and the owner of the car. The Boyk Law Firm attorneys could tell a much more sympathetic and persuasive story by filing a lawsuit and not letting the owner and the driver out of the case early.

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