Will wrongful death case be filed by victim’s family?

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Being involved in a car accident can be distressing, but the danger does not necessarily end there. Surviving the initial crash is one thing, but individuals who are most likely dazed, confused and attempting to determine what happened might be more vulnerable than when the accident occurred. A seemingly minor traffic collision can become fatal as those involved get out of their vehicles. This scenario could lead to a wrongful death case from the family of a man who recently died on a South Carolina road.

It was somewhere around 1 a.m. when two vehicles collided on Interstate 77 recently. The 61-year-old driver of one of the cars got out of his car to assess the damage. Sadly, when he stepped out of his car, a vehicle coming from the opposite direction slammed into him.

Troopers with the South Carolina Highway Patrol reported that the man succumbed to fatal injuries there at the scene. It was not indicated whether anyone else was injured. The investigation at the scene took several hours, during which time that portion of the interstate was closed. No announcement was made regarding whether criminal charges are being contemplated against the driver who struck the victim. The other driver involved in the initial crash was cleared of any involvement in the man’s death.

Even if authorities decide not to press any charges against the driver who hit the man, his family retains the right to file a wrongful death case. A successfully litigated claim that establishes negligence on that individual’s part could result in an award of damages often seen in such tragedies. So long as the court does not find that the victim was more responsible for his death than the other driver, the family is eligible to receive damages. However, if any percentage of liability is assigned to the victim, the total award will be reduced by that percentage.

Source: wcnc.com, “Man hit by oncoming car along I-77 after earlier crash“, Jan. 17, 2015


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