Charles E. Boyk Law Offices, LLC
A crucial step of any personal injury case is gathering and preserving evidence. With the ubiquitous presence of cell phone cameras and high-quality security video, gathering evidence in a car accident case has never been easier than it is today. An experienced attorney could help combine witness testimony, video, and physical evidence to build a compelling case.
There were many different kinds of evidence in the Shively family’s wrongful death case. The Boyk Law Firm had the Wood County Sheriff’s investigation of the incident, as well as the measurements taken by the emergency personnel at the scene of the accident. Diana’s husband Duane also gave compelling testimony of his perspective on the crash.
Also, lawyers from Boyk Law Firm were able to find that the Wood County Sheriffs had dash cameras on their persons. The plaintiff’s team was able to obtain several specific videos on each Wood County Sheriff’s body with a dash cam of their entire investigation, who they talked to, the damage to the vehicles, and Duane’s reaction sitting in the Wood County Sheriff’s vehicle when he was told that his wife died.
Twenty years ago this evidence did not exist. Now, attorneys can request all potential video in severe cases. Video allows the court to see the entire investigation, in addition to reading about it in the report or taking the deposition of the various officers conducting the investigation.
Boyk Law Firm employed a full-time videographer to help document evidence. The videographer, Josh Nagel, is a fantastic graphic artist and a professional video designer. He sat with Diana’s family members and Duane to about Diana’s effect on their lives.
In trying to resolve the case, Duane and his attorneys went to mediation and were able to develop a video that told the story of Diana’s life, her relationship with her family and her husband, her home, and her friends. Duane told the story to the uninsured motorist company to show them what a wonderful person Diana was. The plaintiff team had an abundance of evidence of the relationship and the impact on the entire family unit as a result of her death.
At this point, the lawyers from Boyk Law Firm knew that the defendants—the owner and the driver of the vehicle—each had minimum levels of insurance coverage. The attorneys conducted background checks with computer databases and saw that they were not collectible over and above the policy limits.
The goal was to demonstrate to the insurance company that if the case went to trial, there was a good chance of a substantial public verdict against them. Through the video and investigation, Boyk Law Firm was able to calculate damages through the first six months of representation to present a clear, coherent story, and the potential value of the case to an insurance company and a jury.
In a wrongful death case, a person may collect for medical bills, pain and suffering, inconvenience, and conscious pain and suffering. The major element is the relationship and impact on the relationship to the heirs of the person who died. In effect, that is the loss of society and companionship to Duane, to Diana’s children, and to Diana’s grandchildren. The critical thing in calculating damages was to show that this was a wonderful woman, active in the community, and very likable who had a close and loving relationship with her husband, children, and grandchildren.