Family of Rockets Scout Files Wrongful Death After Bicycle Accident
As personal injury lawyers, one of the most common types of lawsuits we handle involves traffic accident liability. Indeed, most personal injury firms make the majority of their money litigating traffic accident claims with insurance companies. However, there are also times when we file lawsuits against the drivers of vehicles when they cause an accident involving serious permanent injury or death or third parties who may have contributed liability to the accident. Recently, the family of Brent “BJ” Johnson filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the construction company who they say is responsible for leaving part of the sidewalk “dangerously” unfinished. This news comes shortly after Sylvester Turner announced plans to renovate the city’s sidewalks and roads and add bike lanes, especially in underfunded areas where accidents are most likely.
Remembering BJ Johnson
Johnson was a professional basketball scout with the Houston Rockets, but his commitment to the game did not stop there. He was also a member of Basketball Without Borders and involved with the Basketball Africa League. Indeed, Johnson was an ambassador for the sport who will be missed by colleagues. His family says that he was an experienced cyclist who always wore protective gear while riding.
Is the Construction Company Liable?
Generally, a construction company would not be liable for an accident like this. However, because they created the danger that caused Johnson’s death, it is very likely that a jury will give the family a hefty award. Why?
The construction company is accused of leaving dangerous debris such as discarded gutters and sharp concrete beams in an area for cyclists. Johnson’s tire caught on some of that debris causing him to fly forward and die. Since the construction company caused the dangerous condition, they are automatically liable. Because they neglected to rectify a dangerous condition that they caused, they may face liability for punitive damages. Indeed, leaving dangerous debris in an area accessible by children invites this type of gross negligence allegation.
What Damages Can the Family Recover?
The family can recover damages related to their loved one’s funeral expenses and medical expenses related to the injury. They can further recover damages related to their own emotional pain and suffering over the loss of their loved one. But the real kicker will be the lost wages that Johnson provided his family. As an NBA scout, they were likely substantial, and the family is entitled to recover all of it prorated to the time of his retirement age.
If the company’s negligence is considered “gross” or so reckless that it made injury inevitable, the jury can return a second verdict authorizing damages for three times the amount of compensatory damages to punish the company for their carelessness.
Talk to a Houston Personal Injury Lawyer Today
If you’ve been injured due to a company’s negligence, you are entitled to file a lawsuit to recover damages related to your medical expenses, lost wages, and reduced quality of life. Call the Houston personal injury attorneys at Livingston & Flowers today to learn more about how we can help.