Recently, the U.S. Postal Service paid a multi-million-dollar settlement to the New Jersey family of a two-year-old girl who was killed by a U.S. Postal Service truck. The lawsuit, Chacon v. U.S. Postal Service, resulted in a $4.9 million settlement that was paid on January 15, 2019. The tragic event highlights the need for drivers to adhere to traffic safety regulations and be aware of pedestrians in their immediate surroundings.
On July 20, 2015, Ana Chacon entered a crosswalk at Rahway Avenue in Elizabeth with her 2-year old granddaughter Sofia Flores in her left arm and 4-year old grandson Jacob’s hand on her right side. While in the crosswalk, Ms. Chacon was struck by a Postal Service truck. The driver was attempting to turn right onto Rahway Avenue from Chilton Street at the time of the accident.
According to the plaintiff’s attorney, the Postal Service truck driver did not look right before turning onto Rahway Avenue. In addition, there is evidence that the driver was using a cell phone just before the accident occurred.
Ms. Chacon was able to push Jacob out of harm’s way, however, two-year-old Sofia was thrown to the pavement and died as a result of her injuries. In addition, Ms. Chacon sustained serious injuries, including lower extremity fractures and a mild traumatic brain injury. The victims and their families filed suit against the U.S. Postal Service for loss of companionship of Sofia; psychological trauma for Jacob who witnessed the death of his sister and the injury of his grandmother; and the injuries of Ms. Chacon.
Following mediation, the parties agreed to settle for $4.9 million. Ms. Chacon will receive $3 million; the estate of Sofia Flores will receive $1.3 million; Jacob will receive $600,000. U.S. District Judge Kevin McNulty of the District of New Jersey approved the settlement, including legal fees not to exceed $1.225 million; $65,917 in costs; and $436,138 in medical liens. The Department of Justice approved the settlement on December 18, 2018, and payment was received on January 15.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured or died as a result of a negligent driver, it is important to consult the guidance of an experienced auto accident lawyer. The attorneys at the Rinaldo Law Group LLC are skilled New Jersey motor vehicle accident lawyers, who fight for the compensation you deserve. For more information or to schedule a free initial consultation with our New Jersey motor vehicle accident lawyers, call (908) 352-2500 or fill out our contact form.