On Thursday, April 23rd, 49-year-old David Darnell and his daughter, 16-year-old Abbey Darnell, were killed when their vehicle was struck by a Chevrolet pickup truck on I-85 Southbound in Opelika. David had pulled into the emergency lane to check on his daughter’s vehicle, which had been left earlier due to a flat tire, when the pickup truck struck their vehicle from behind, knocking them into the stranded vehicle. The driver of the pickup truck sustained unknown injuries and was taken via ambulance to Piedmont Midtown Medical Center for treatment. According to their GoFundMe page, David and Abbey Darnell leave behind their wife/mother, Jill Darnell, daughter/sister, Grace Darnell and son/brother, Jack Darnell.
How do you recover after losing your loved ones?
WBRC Fox6’s LawCall Host, Tiffany Bittner, interviews Attorney Kirby Farris.
TIFFANY BITTNER: Kirby, this is such a traumatic accident for everyone involved. As a wife and mother of four, I am sure the Darnell Family is going to be consumed by grief over the loss of their loved ones. I know I would be. Is there anything they can do to make their lives the slightest bit easier?
KIRBY FARRIS: Tiffany, right now the best thing Mrs. Darnell can do is to grieve and be there for her children. I am thankful that they have a GoFundMe account set up to help with the financial burden of losing loved ones. However, the driver who hit them is most likely liable to cover expenses that the family will incur. These types of situations are why Alabama State Law requires drivers to have insurance policies that cover a minimum of $25,000 in bodily injury per person per accident and $50,000 in bodily injury for all persons per accident. If she wants to remove some of the burden of negotiating with the insurance company, she can hire a personal injury attorney.
TIFFANY BITTNER: I know we have discussed this before, but in regard to Mrs. Darnell’s family, what happens if the liable driver does not have insurance?
KIRBY FARRIS: A personal injury attorney would be able to seek other options for insurance coverage. Insurance companies want to pay out as little as possible, so they may not be so forthcoming with those options. She will need to reach out to someone who has experience in this type of auto accident, because it may require some investigation to prove the liable party.
TIFFANY BITTNER: I assume when you say “this type of auto accident” you mean a car wreck involving a stranded vehicle or a vehicle pulled off into the emergency lane, right?
KIRBY FARRIS: Yes, exactly, as well as accidents resulting in fatalities. Emergency lanes can be narrow and dangerous, especially on interstates where cars are speeding by. Unfortunately, accidents like this are more common than we would like. We see many clients with grave or fatal injuries as a result of a car parked or pulling over into an emergency lane. Proving the person who survived is liable can be a sensitive, yet complicated task.
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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 Law Firm, 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 legal 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.