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Will wrongful death claim follow criminal charges against driver?

Every day, Connecticut residents entrust their lives to the person behind the wheel of the car in which they are riding. Sometimes, that trust is misplaced and vehicle passengers are killed. When a loved one is lost in this way, surviving family members retain the right to file a wrongful death claim against the party or parties believed to be responsible for the fatal injuries suffered by the victim.

For instance, a 68-year-old man recently trusted a 24-year-old woman to get him safely to their destination. Unfortunately, the woman somehow ended up rear-ending a septic tank truck that was parked on the side of the road. The man suffered severe injuries and was taken to an area hospital. Sometime later, he succumbed to his injuries.

The investigation into the crash revealed that the woman had been speeding at the time of the crash. Furthermore, she failed to steer the vehicle she was driving to the left of the parked truck. Officials charged with her with speeding, failure to go around the parked vehicle and negligent homicide.

In addition to the criminal charges, the family of the deceased passenger may also file a wrongful death claim against her. If Connecticut prosecutors secure a conviction against the driver for a crime connected to the death of their loved one, the family could use it as evidence of negligence in civil court. Establishing negligence could lead to an award of damages that could provide the family with much needed restitution for the financial losses associated with the victim's death.

Source: wtnh.com, "Woman arrested for car crash death", Matt Lebow, Jan. 21, 2016

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