When someone is seriously injured or killed within a close-knit community, the victim or his or her loved ones are usually showered with condolences and offers to help in any way possible. A sympathetic community response can help people who have suffered a tragedy to recover more quickly. But when a car accident or similar incident is caused by another member of that community, the process of moving on from the accident can quickly become emotionally and financially complicated.
Many people think of personal injury or wrongful death suits as a battle between strangers. Not knowing the person who caused injury or death to a loved one makes it easier to press for financial compensation in a resulting civil lawsuit. The prospect of filing a lawsuit against a member of one's own community, then, is usually a difficult one. But the discomfort both parties feel doesn't cancel out the need for financial recovery on the part of victims or their families.
Consider the car accident that happened on a recent Sunday in the parking lot of a Daly City church. A 6-year-old girl was walking through the parking lot with her mother when they and another woman were struck by a minivan. All three pedestrians became trapped under the vehicle, requiring at least six people to rush over and lift it off the victims with the help of a car jack. The girl later died at a nearby hospital.
It's not clear yet whether the minivan's driver, a fellow parishioner, will face charges in connection with the accident, but the church community was sympathetic toward the woman, who was apparently grief-stricken. Whether the mother and girl's family will be as sympathetic toward her remains to be seen as the mother continues to recover from her injuries. The fact that they belonged to the same church may not prevent the family from filing a civil lawsuit to recoup their financial and emotional losses, which are undoubtedly high. Although the prospect of suing another member of their church community may be uncomfortable, they are already suffering a profound amount of discomfort due to the death of the young girl and the mother's serious injuries.
Source: San Francisco Chronicle, "Parking lot death of child stuns church," Carolyn Jones, Oct. 15, 2012
Ã‚Â· Our law firm handles situations similar to the one described in this post. To learn more about our firm, please visit our San Jose car accidents page.
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