Personal injury lawyers often come across some interesting cases. One such case is that of Barbara Bagley. On December 27, 2011 Barbara Bagley was driving in the Nevada desert with her husband when she lost control of the vehicle and collided with a sagebrush, causing the car to flip over. Her husband, the passenger in the vehicle, sustained serious injuries as a result passed away on 6 January 2012. The Utah Court of Appeals has given Barbara Bagley the go-ahead to proceed with a wrongful-death lawsuit against herself for alleged negligence in an accident that killed her spouse.
Barbara Bagley, acting as a personal representative of the estate of her late husband, is suing driver Bagley, whose interests in the case are represented by her insurance carrier, according to the appeals court ruling. She is seeking an unspecified amount of money for damages that include medical and funeral expenses; loss of past and future financial support; the physical pain her husband, Bradley Vom Baur, suffered before he died from his injuries; and the loss of his love and companionship. In her suit, Bagley claims she was negligent for failing to maintain a proper lookout and to keep her vehicle under proper control.
Originally, third District Judge Paul Maughan dismissed the case in January 2014. However, the appeals court recently reinstated the suit, saying in a 3-0 ruling that Utah statutes do not bar Bagley from seeking damages from herself.
While the bold headlines, “Woman Sues Herself,” makes the claim sound almost outrageous. It is really no more than a formality, stemming from the insurer’s unwillingness to pay out. Furthermore, when you examine the circumstances in detail, it is not that unusual.
Barbara Bagley’s late husband was a passenger in the vehicle at the time of the accident. Automotive insurance provides coverage for injuries sustained by third parties, which includes the passengers. Under normal circumstances, a passenger is entitled to pursue a claim against the negligent driver of the vehicle, or, in the case of a deceased claimant, the matter would be pursued on behalf of their estate. This is particularly relevant if no other cars were involved in the accident. Since Barbara Bagley is her late husband’s only next of kin, she is having to represent the interests of his estate. However, she is the defendant, which complicates matters.
Another headline read, “Man Sues Friend Over Stubbed Toe.” Once again, at first glance and without knowing the facts, the case seems ridiculous. However, the plaintiff suffered from a pre-existing chronic vascular disease, which aggravated the consequences of something which may appear to be a very minor incident. The man incurred doctors bills and lost wages due to the accident. Luckily, his friend had valid home insurance in place, and his insurers agreed to deal with the claim straight away.
It should be made clear that this article does not intend to encourage fanciful claims. However, it is important to know your rights, when it comes to unusual accidents. Suffering an injury may have drastic consequences on a person’s life, from unpleasant physical symptoms to the loss of employment, with the resulting financial hardship. If you have been seriously injured as a result of someone else’s fault, it is only prudent to consider all possible options to get your life back on track and the personal injury lawyers at Clekis Law Firm can help.