Posted on Wednesday, April 22nd, 2020 at 2:49 pm
On Monday, April 20th, 16-year-old Taylor Ronald Akin of Adger was killed in a two-vehicle car crash at the intersection of 15th Street Road and CCC Camp Road in Jefferson County. The crash occurred when a Chevrolet Camaro, which Akin was a passenger in, collided with a Chevrolet pickup truck while the truck attempted to make a turn, causing the Camaro to roll multiple times before coming to final rest on the roadway’s shoulder. The drivers of both vehicles were also injured in the crash and have been hospitalized.
What happens now for a grieving family?
WBRC Fox6’s LawCall Host, Tiffany Bittner, interviews Attorney Ken Riley.
TIFFANY BITTNER: Ken, our hearts go out to Mr. Akin’s family during this tragedy. We both have children of our own – the emotional toll this would take on me is unimaginable. In this situation, what would you recommend Mr. Akin’s family do to help take some of the burden off of them?
KEN RILEY: I agree, and I experience a similar emotion to the one you’re expressing each time a client reaches out to me after losing a child. I go home and hug my kids a little tighter that night. To answer your question, the last thing the family is going to want to deal with is a battle with the insurance company. If the driver in the other vehicle is at fault, Mr. Akin’s family can pursue coverage from the at-fault party’s insurance carrier to help with medical bills, funeral costs, etc. Since the at-fault driver is not yet clear, the family may be able to seek coverage from Mr. Akin’s driver’s insurance carrier. Many people think that if their driver was at fault that somehow revokes their ability to be compensated for their injuries, but that is not correct. While of course we hope the accident was not caused by Mr. Akin’s driver, who was also a teen male, we cannot guarantee that’s the case. If his driver is found liable under conditions such as wantonness or reckless driving, Mr. Akin’s family may be able to hold his driver liable and receive compensation for his wrongful death from his insurance company.
TIFFANY BITTNER: What would happen if neither driver had auto insurance? Will the family endure those costs that you mentioned?
KEN RILEY: If neither of the drivers have auto insurance, there is another option: if the victim himself was covered under an auto insurance policy, they could use his uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage on his own policy for compensation. Though, given that Mr. Akin’s driver was a teen as well, there’s likely coverage on the vehicle.
TIFFANY BITTNER: It’s sad to see these men involved in accidents so young. Do you see a lot of cases where the victims are adolescents?
KEN RILEY: Unfortunately, we do see them quite often. We’ve seen several cases in the past few months that involve either teen drivers or child passengers who’ve been injured, some severely. A lot of our clients have had to seek treatment at Children’s of Alabama, which is why our firm is so passionate about supporting the local hospital. Children’s of Alabama is a remarkable facility that our community is lucky to have. We recently helped two minor clients, both involved in the same accident, where their car wrapped around a pole and split in half. Unfortunately, one of those two clients did not make it, but we were able to help her family. The client who did survive actually did a video interview for us to help encourage and support our annual Children’s Miracle Network Radiothon, benefitting Children’s of Alabama.
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Disclaimer: The intent of this post is to provide general information to our readers and to help improve the safety and quality of life for those who live in our state. At Farris, Riley & Pitt, we intend to honor those who are victimized in accidents across Alabama. We aim to provide up to date information to the public surrounding these incidents in hopes of helping others avoid becoming victims themselves. If anyone is involved in an accident, we would like to make sure they know how to respond, should a tragedy occur. Information in this post, should not be considered legal or medical advice. You should seek further assistance from a Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP personal injury lawyer or medical professional if you or a loved one is a victim in an accident. Any photos depicted in these posts are not representative of the actual accident scene.