All motorists owe other drivers a duty of care when they operate a vehicle. This means that they should be attentive and sober. Unfortunately, drivers often fail to maintain this duty, placing others at risk of a car accident. When a negligent driver causes a wreck, severe injuries can occur. In the most tragic crashes, deaths can result. A recent fatality in Chattanooga serves as an example and Knoxville residents should take notice.
In Chattanooga, a man was riding his moped when he was rear-ended by a SUV. The man was thrown into the SUV's windshield and died as a result. The driver of the SUV fled the scene, but was later found after crashing a second time. Police found pain killers and muscle relaxers in the vehicle and the driver was slurring her speech. The driver admitted to taking strong pills prior to driving and was subsequently arrested.
A fatal accident like this caused by the negligence of another is tragic and can leave a deceased's family reeling. The loss of a loved one can cause emotional and financial strain that can be difficult to overcome. Fortunately, these families can take legal action that can help ease these burdens and allow them to grieve the loss of their loved one.
To succeed on a wrongful death claim, a deceased's family member must prove the death was caused by the defendant's negligence, the death affected a surviving family member, and the death led to compensable damages.
Once successful on a wrongful death claim, the deceased's family can obtain compensation. These awards can be applied towards medical expenses, pain and suffering the deceased felt before passing, and funeral expenses. Then, families can focus on remembering their loved one without undeserved financial stress.
Source: WRCB TV, "St. Elmo man killed in hit and run, loved ones want justice," Kimberly Barbour, Dec. 10, 2012