Although the news reports are somewhat vague, we are informed of a few of facts that mean somethings to me. Let’s see generally what we know.
A man driving a Ford F-150 drove at a high rate of speed through the front door barricades at the Pella Walmart store. Once inside he continued to drive until he couldn’t or until his truck stopped. The police who investigated reported it did not appear the driver did it intentionally. Is that true? At this point, there is no way to know whether it is true or not. And that sort of makes it complicated.
And then there is the insurance coverage that may be available or not available.
- The driver had auto insurance. Will they pay? Will it considered this an "accident"?
- Walmart has premise liability insurance. Will it pay? If so, in what amounts?
- The employees who were injured or killed may have automobile insurance coverage – both liability and also uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. If the driver has low limits then the insurance of those injured or killed will need to file an underinsured motorist claim with their own auto insurer.
- There may be health insurance provided by Walmart to its employees. That will create a lien situation with any other recovery.
- There may be health insurance available through the spouses of the injured.
- Some people died. For those employees who died there is a death benefit from Walmart’s workers’ compensation program. There may also be life insurance Walmart provides for its employers. There may be individual life insurance policies by their spouse’s employer or a private life insurance policy.
- For the shopper who died there is the premise liability policy.
- Then there are survivor’s death benefits from the Social Security Administration. A benefit for the children and the spouse of those who were killed.
- And there may be SSA disability benefits.
- And then there might be private disability insurance.
This blog is obviously not long enough to explain the interrelationship of all of these programs, their benefits or how to secure them. But they are available for those injured and for those who lost a loved one.
For the many this news story is just that; their lives move on to the next. For those who have suffered loss, there is a mountain of questions needing to be answered. The goal of the Lombardi Law Firm is to assist those who have suffered injury and loss to recover. There is a lot to do and it normally takes years to resolve. If we can assist you call Katrina or me at the Lombardi Law Firm.
Quote from KCCI’s story: "Iowa State Patrol Sgt. Nathan Ludwig said Carrie Zugg, 31, Lindsey Rietveld, 29, and Ruth Jean DeJong, 76, were killed after a sliver Ford F-150 crashed into the storefront. Authorities said Zugg and Rietveld were Walmart employees. DeJong was a shopper from Pella. Authorities also identified the injured as 66-year-old Dennis Mockenhaupt and 77-year-old Robert DeJong. Mockenhaupt was the driver of the pickup.”
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