There are so many things that can distract Washington drivers. There are other drivers, billboards, lights, the weather, the radio, passengers, food and cell phones. Seattle area drivers need to be particularly careful to not let any of these distractions take their attention away from the road when they are driving. Even momentarily lapses in attention can have devastating effects — as the family of a 57-year-old woman understand.
This woman was killed by a 19-year-old driver on New Year’s morning. That driver has recently pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide as a result of her death and could spend up to 20 months in prison. According to reports, the woman was walking near a road early in the morning in King County. The driver admitted to speeding and texting while driving. He apparently hit the woman, before continuing to drive off.
While the criminal charges and the impending sentence may provide a sense of justice to many, the charges likely do little to take away the pain of this fatal accident for the woman’s family. While nothing may ever be able to take away the pain of the loss of a loved one, a wrongful death suit has a more immediate impact on the victim’s family.
A wrongful death suit helps to hold negligent drivers civilly responsible for their actions. When a driver is distracted — by texting, for example — or not following traffic rules, that driver is likely negligent because the driver is failing to act as a reasonable driver would under the circumstances. When negligent drivers causes a fatal car accident, a wrongful death suit makes them financially responsible for the accident. This financial compensation can help cover medical costs, funeral expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering experienced by the family of the person killed.
Source: My Northwest, “Guilty plea in fatal New Year’s crash,” Dec. 9, 2013