Cars are dangerous; they are even labeled deadly weapons when used improperly. Yet we drive around like we are invincible, getting angry and driving faster when someone is driving too slow for our taste. In Massachusetts alone, there were on average over 140,000 car crashes a year between 2006 and 2008, with 4,000 resulting in serious injuries and 400 resulting in death.
Adding to this year's statistics is a three-car crash in Springfield that claimed the life of a 34-year-old woman who was a passenger in a 2001 Ford Explorer, according to the Boston Globe. The accident occurred on I-291 westbound, but police have not yet released more details about the crash.
Could the surviving driver be liable for his passenger's death?
Automobile accidents can lead to any number of legal issues. There can be criminal charges ranging from a citation to a felony, and civil lawsuits based on negligent or intentional actions. This all depends on what happened to cause the crash.
If any of these types of cases can be brought and someone died in the crash, then a wrongful death lawsuit can be filed. Wrongful death suits are based on the death of a person that results from illegal, intentional, or negligent acts. These suits can be brought regardless of whether the deceased was young, old, or the primary breadwinner for the family.
Here, the main question will be if there was negligence on the part of the driver, or the driver of one of the other two vehicles involved in the crash. When there is this type of situation, a relative can join all of the potential parties that could have caused the crash in one lawsuit to find out exactly what caused the person's death.
Unless the driver was not paying any attention to the road, it is likely that fault could be placed on another driver. Once more facts come to light about the three-car crash in Springfield, then a decision can be made to determine whether a wrongful death lawsuit is a feasible option.
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