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Woman killed, daughters hospitalized while returning from Disney

There is never a good time for a tragic accident to occur for Knoxville residents. That being said, sometimes an auto accident or other incident can occur at a particularly heartbreaking time, such as during the holidays or around the time another loved one has suffered a similarly tragic incident.

One recent accident that claimed the life of a Knoxville woman illustrated this unfortunate circumstance. The accident occurred when a 43-year-old man pulled over and, for some unknown reason, turned around and headed in the direction of oncoming traffic. The man's vehicle then struck the vehicle carrying the woman and her three daughters. As a result, the woman was killed in the crash, and her three daughters were sent to the hospital in critical condition.

Making matters worse, the incident occurred as the family was heading back from a Disney World trip. In addition, the woman was killed only a few years after her father passed away during the same time of the year, making it even more difficult for her surviving mother and sister. After the crash, fundraising websites were established to help the victims pay for their medical expenses and the funeral expenses of the deceased woman.

As a general matter, fundraising efforts by friends and family can be a much-needed assistance to those injured in car accidents. However, individuals may wonder whether they can still obtain compensation in a personal injury lawsuit if others have donated compensation to them through other efforts.

Typically, the law does not allow a defendant to deduct the amount of damages he or she must pay to a personal injury victim because of the donations of others. The collateral source rule, as it is known, states that damages are not reduced by payments a personal injury victim receives from other sources. Accordingly, those who are injured as a result of someone else's negligence should understand that they still have a valid claim for damages even if others have made donations to pay expenses for them.

Source: MetroNews, "Turnpike crash victims had just returned from Disney," Chris Lawrence, March 25, 2015t

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