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Family wins wrongful death lawsuit for 2009 car accident

Fighting for what is right is not always the easy thing to do. This is especially true after the death of a loved one. While our instincts may be to put tragedy behind us and move on with our lives, sometimes standing up for what is right is more important than simply letting it go. The following is the story of one Maryland family who did just that after losing their sole teenage daughter to serious injuries she sustained in an auto accident while en route to her bus stop back in September 2009.

The victim, a freshman attending Crossland High School in Prince County, Maryland, was crossing the street near her home to catch the school bus when she was hit by a car. The accident happened on September 1, 2009. The young girl sustained serious injuries in the crash and died from her injuries two weeks later. After the high school freshman's death, her family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Prince George's County Board of Education.

According to the complaint, the family accused the county school board of failing to provide safe and adequate transportation for their daughter to get to and from school. The young girl switched bus stops after her original school bus driver persistently and negligently failed to stop at her designated bus stop. The jury, frustrated that school board policy was not being followed, awarded the family of the young girl approximately $90 million in damages.

In most motor vehicle accident cases, the victim files a lawsuit for their injuries against the driver whose actions are directly attributable to the injuries, or in the case of a death, the surviving family members file a wrongful death suit. Sometimes, however, liability in a car accident case can extend to third parties, such as a business or a government agency. In such cases, where a third parties action's contribute to the accident and the subsequent injuries, that party may be held liable under the doctrine of vicarious liability.

The Washington Post, "Jury awards $90 million in Prince George's County wrongful-death case," Ovetta Wiggins, April 14, 2013

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