When we think of who can be held responsible for a car accident through a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit, we often think of a driver involved in a multiple-vehicle accident. In some cases, however, the driver of a single-car accident can be held responsible if passengers were injured or killed. In fact, an example of this is playing out in New Haven Superior Court right now.
Last week, a man was arraigned on several charges relating to the death of a 23-year-old woman in January. According to police, the 25-year-old was operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol when he lost control of the car and crashed it in a residential neighborhood in Guilford. Three other people were in the car with him. Police say he was speeding and had a blood alcohol level of 0.138. Although three men, including the driver, were able to exit the vehicle, the young woman died from injuries she sustained as a front-seat passenger.
After the accident, the driver told police that his brakes stopped working, causing him to crash. Police, however, smelled alcohol on the driver, and a witness to the crash said one individual attempting to conceal possible alchol containers in a nearby ditch. Police searched the ditch and found multiple cans of beer.
Although this man is now being held criminally responsible for his actions, that may not be enough for the family that has had to cope with the loss of their loved one. In a case like this, a wrongful death lawsuit is often a good way for a family to seek compensation from a negligent driver. Some find that a successful wrongful death lawsuit not only helps ensure that funeral costs are covered, but it can also allow a family to feel that justice has been served to its full extent.
Source: Guilford Patch, “Guilford Man Arraigned for Fatal Car Crash,” Lauren Lanzon, April 29, 2013