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Jury doesn't indict trucker for crash, civil options may remain

Oftentimes when someone is killed in an accident because of another driver's negligence, the family wants justice in the form of a criminal conviction. This was the case in Tennessee recently when the family of two people killed in a truck accident sought to have criminal charges pressed against the truck driver.

As some Knoxville residents may remember, the accident occurred in July and killed a young couple on their way to Bonnaroo. The couple was stopped in traffic when the semi-truck behind them failed to brake and, as a result, slammed into their car. The truck driver was cited for failing to exercise due care, yet criminal charges were never sought until recently. However, a grand jury refused to indict the truck driver.

Even when criminal charges fail to bring surviving family members relief they still may have the option of filing a personal injury lawsuit through the civil law system. Unlike the criminal justice system which requires showing proof beyond a reasonable doubt, the civil system only requires a plaintiff to show his claim by a preponderance of the evidence in order to win. This essentially means if the plaintiff's claim is more likely true than not, then compensation may be obtained.

A Knoxville accident attorney can be a powerful tool in filing a lawsuit against a truck driver, a truck company, and/or a truck owner. In addition to attempting to prove negligence and causation, the attorney will seek to maximize the plaintiff's compensation to cover lost wages, medical expenses, and pain and suffering.

A tractor-trailer crash can wreak havoc on the physical, emotional and financial well-being of a family. Whether the criminal justice system provides relief or not, victims and their surviving family members should seek other alternatives to recover their losses.

Source: Eagle Country 99.3, "No Indictment For Trucker In Fatal Wreck," Mike Perleberg, Dec. 4, 2013

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