On September 27, 2012, 12-year-old Hailey Ratliff rode her bicycle home from Sinaloa Middle School in Novato California when she was struck and killed by a motorist. Ratliff’s family filed suit against both the driver and the City of Novato. The case continued until 2014, when it was recently settled for over $1 million.
The majority of the settlement, some $800,000 is to be paid by Tait North America, the employer of the at fault driver, and by Morningstar Farms, a horse ranch near the site of the accident. An additional $320,000 is to be paid by the city of Novato, the majority of which will be covered by the town’s insurance. In total, the settlement amount comes to $1.12 million.
This large amount, however, is of little comfort to Ratliff’s mother, Angela, who reportedly stated that, “the lawsuit was never about money, the lawsuit is about change.”
The driver of the vehicle, one Samuel Lee Boulware Jr. of Houston, Texas, was speeding and driving recklessly at the time of the accident, according to the claims made in the lawsuit. Boulware was driving a rented GMC Yukon when he collided with Ratliff on Navato Boulevard.
While the lawsuit holds the driver responsible for the crash, it also alleged liability on the City of Novato. The family has insisted that, as part of the settlement, the city of Novato must undertake a full and comprehensive review of speed limits and pedestrian safety along the stretch of road where Ratliff was struck, claiming the adjacent neighborhood offers no easy foot access.
“I refuse to let our daughter’s death be in vain and somebody needs to do something,” said Ratliffs mother.
Ratliff’s family had recently moved to Novato. In the outpouring of community grief and support that followed the incident, many area families agreed the road conditions where the girl was hit are an unacceptable danger to pedestrians.
While Ratliff’s family was able to realize a fair settlement, nothing will undo the hurt of losing a daughter. Wrongful death lawsuits are exceptionally hard on a family, and when the defendant is a municipality, the court battle can be especially taxing. As court proceedings drag on, monthly expenses continue to mount, many plaintiffs in wrongful death suits feel pressured to settle out of court for lesser awards. In such cases, securing lawsuit funding could help plaintiffs hold out against the pressure.
Wrongful Death Lawsuit Funding Holds the Key
Wrongful death lawsuit funding provides a cash advance on the expected proceeds of a wrongful death lawsuit. This money allows plaintiffs to withstand the delay and realize a better settlement.
For plaintiffs, wrongful death lawsuit funding could help them hold out for a just compensation. With bills paid and the pressure to settle quickly taken off of their shoulders, plaintiffs have the monetary support to hold out for fair compensation.
Money from wrongful death lawsuit funding can be made available in as little as 24-hours. There are zero upfront fees involved in securing settlement funding. And unlike traditional loans with monthly payments, the borrower is not required to make payment unless the case is settled or judgment rendered. If the plaintiff receives compensation, the lawsuit loan payment is made through the settlement. If the plaintiff loses the case, no repayment is required.
If you are going through a wrongful death lawsuit and are feeling the pressure to settle, acquiring settlement funding can go a long way toward helping you realize fair compensation. Your loss is painful enough – let Fair Rate funding take some of the hurt out of your court proceeding with settlement funding.