Five years ago, Chad Kessing’s car crossed over the centerline while he was driving on Highway 17-A and struck the SUV Wanda Holland was driving. The impact killed Holland instantly. Five years later, Kessing has been ordered to pay Holland’s family a $3.5 million settlement.
The fact that Kessing was the one responsible for the fatal accident is just one of the reasons that Holland’s family filed a civil suit against him. The other was the fact that Holland should never have been driving in the first place. A history of seizures had resulted in the state revoking his license two times. At the time of his accident, Kessing did have a beginners permit, but that only allowed him to drive when a fully licensed person was in the car with him. At the time of the accident, Kessing was alone in the car.
“He admitted that he knew that he was unsafe to be on the road,” the attorney representing the Holland family, Julie Moore, said. “He admitted he didn’t have a proper driver’s license at the time. He admitted that he had a history of seizures which had previously caused two accidents. Then he admitted… driving anyway.”
After hearing the details of the case, the jury rule that Holland’s family should receive $3 million for their punitive damages as well as an additional $500,000 for actual damages.
“My hope is that hearing about cases like this encourage individuals who are in a situation like Mr. Kessing’s to stop and reconsider before they get behind a wheel,” said Attorney Joseph Sandefur of South Carolina’s top personal injury firm.
Driving isn’t without risks, and in South Carolina, those risks are even higher than in other parts of the country. Whether it’s the number of fatal DUIs that take place each year or the general state of the roadways, South Carolina consistently has the worst numbers.
It’s important to remember that if you are hurt, or that someone you love is killed, as a result of an accident that wasn’t your fault, you do have some legal options. Most people choose to get in touch with a law firm that specializes in personal injuries where they are free to discuss the possibility of filing a civil lawsuit. This civil lawsuit makes it possible for you to collect a settlement that covers both your actual and punitive damages.
There are several reasons you need to have an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side when you decide to file a civil suit. Not only will they help you with a terminology and other details involved in filling out the paperwork, but they will also investigate the details of the auto accident and look for ways to strengthen your case. After the paperwork has been filed, you lawyer will guide you through the negotiation process where most civil lawsuits are settled.
For more information regarding how to handle a lawsuit following a car accident, contact joeandmartin.com.