I met a really nice woman last week who young high school son was tragically killed in a car accident in which he was a passenger. I meet the nicest people in this job and I always wish it was under different circumstances.
Anyone who drives is very familiar with this scenario in this wrongful death case. You’re out on the road and see another driver who is trying to make a turn or change lanes. Empathy is natural because you have been in that same situation yourself. You recognize that you’re in a position to maybe help them out a little so you back up a few feet, make some eye contact and graciously hand signal for them to “go ahead.” Most of the time the other driver gladly advances, gives a thanks signal, and everyone drives away with warm, fuzzing feelings of roadway civility (unless they do not give “the wave” which should be a felony).
But what if they proceed with their turn in response to your friendly signal and get t-boned by an oncoming truck in the next lane that neither of you saw coming? I knew the answer to this question but it was sort of “The Law of Ron” type thing — I had no real source for my conclusion and a few lawyers at my office disagreed. So I thought my research would make a good blog post for other lawyers.