Imagine that you are a parent of a child who was injured in a car accident. You learn from police that the driver may have been speeding at the time of the crash. Since speeding is considered reckless driving in most states, you know that the driver could be held liable for your child’s injuries. But what do you do if the driver is killed in the crash? Are you still able to seek compensation and gain closure from the accident?
It’s these very questions that are currently facing the parents of four California teens who were injured in a rollover crash in Corona this month. According to initial police reports, it’s believed that the 20-year-old driver of the car may have been speeding when she lost control of the vehicle for unknown reasons. After leaving the roadway and colliding with trees and a utility box, the car rolled over.
Three of the teens suffered non life-threatening injuries. One of the other teenage passengers remains in critical condition at this time.
Because the driver was killed in the crash though, an important question remains: are the parents of the accident victims able to seek compensation for the driver’s negligence? It’s a difficult question without a simple answer. If police confirm that the driver was speeding then it’s possible that she could be considered negligent and liable for her passengers’ injuries. But because she was killed in the crash, she cannot answer to these claims in civil litigation. This could leave the victims’ families with a sense of injustice and wondering if they have other options.
While an insurance policy may cover some of the damages suffered in the accident, it may not be enough in some cases. This could lead some parents to file civil claims against the driver’s family. If our readers were to find themselves in a similar predicament, then they would be well advised to speak with legal counsel before filing a claim though. That’s because, as you may already know, every situation is different and it may not be possible in every case. Cases such as this run a risk of not receiving compensation, which is something we hope our readers will keep in mind in the future.
Source: CBS Los Angeles, “Officials Identify Driver In Killed In Corona Crash That Injured 4 Teens,” May 6, 2014
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