Albert Biggers Killed in Cincinnati Car Crash - Critical Legal Issues

West Chester, Mason, and Cincinnati Ohio

Albert Biggers was killed in a Cincinnati car crash today May 6, 2017. News reports indicated that he was a passenger in a car driven by Adam Kordes .

Allegations where that Kordes lost control of the vehicle. The car had been traveling west on Montana. It veered into the eastbound lane. It struck the curb, went air born and rolled over.

The vehicle ended up striking an apartment building. It was not stated what actually caused the death in terms of which impact or roll over. 

There were serious allegations made by the Cincinnati police. Speed and "impairment" were cited as factors. Also mention was made that neither man wore a seatbelt. 

Criminal and Civil Implications for Car Crash Death

There are significant criminal and civil law implications that arise out of the facts of this crash.

In a criminal arena it is likely that Adam Kordes will be prosecuted for one of several crimes. They range from aggravated vehicular homicide, vehicular homicide and manslaughter.

This is a short summary from the Ohio Revised Code:

"2903.06 Aggravated vehicular homicide - vehicular homicide - vehicular manslaughter.

(A) No person, while operating or participating in the operation of a motor vehicle, motorcycle, snowmobile, locomotive, watercraft, or aircraft, shall cause the death of another or the unlawful termination of another's pregnancy in any of the following ways:

(1)

(a) As the proximate result of committing a violation of division (A) of section 4511.19 of the Revised Code or of a substantially equivalent municipal ordinance;

(b) As the proximate result of committing a violation of division (A) of section 1547.11 of the Revised Code or of a substantially equivalent municipal ordinance;

(c) As the proximate result of committing a violation of division (A)(3) of section 4561.15 of the Revised Code or of a substantially equivalent municipal ordinance.

(2) In one of the following ways:

(a) Recklessly;

(b) As the proximate result of committing, while operating or participating in the operation of a motor vehicle or motorcycle in a construction zone, a reckless operation offense, provided that this division applies only if the person whose death is caused or whose pregnancy is unlawfully terminated is in the construction zone at the time of the offender's commission of the reckless operation offense in the construction zone and does not apply as described in division (F) of this section.

(3) In one of the following ways:

(a) Negligently;

(b) As the proximate result of committing, while operating or participating in the operation of a motor vehicle or motorcycle in a construction zone, a speeding offense, provided that this division applies only if the person whose death is caused or whose pregnancy is unlawfully terminated is in the construction zone at the time of the offender's commission of the speeding offense in the construction zone and does not apply as described in division (F) of this section." (1)

Potentially the driver is facing many years in prison.

Civil Implication

There could be a civil suit for money damages by the family of Albert Biggers. This is brought by the legal representative of his estate. It is brought for the beneficiaries listed in the Ohio wrongful death statute

An action for wrongful death is described in 

2125.01 Action for wrongful death.

"An action for wrongful death is described in the first part of the law as:

When the death of a person is caused by wrongful act, neglect, or default which would have entitled the party injured to maintain an action and recover damages if death had not ensued, the person who would have been liable if death had not ensued, or the administrator or executor of the estate of such person, as such administrator or executor, shall be liable to an action for damages, notwithstanding the death of the person injured and although the death was caused under circumstances which make it aggravated murder, or murder." (2)

All this means is that if wrongful conduct by one caused the death of another an action may be maintained. The conduct may be negligent or any variety of intent. However it is important to remember that insurance will not cover the damages if the act was intentional.

Beneficiaries

The beneficiaries can be almost anyone related by blood. However, primary beneficiaries are the spouse, children and parents of the person killed.

Probate Determines Who Gets the Damages

Someone has to open up and estate and bring the action. If the person has a spouse, the spouse has the priority right to bring the action. However, Hamilton County Probate Court would determine how the money damages are divided up.

A lawsuit may not be necessary. It depends on the insurance coverage that is available and many other factors.

Seat Belt Defense

As it was mentioned that the deceased did not have a seat belt on this could cause problems. Failure to wear a seat belt by a front seat passenger that would have prevented death could preclude damages.  So it may be critical to hire a biomechanical engineer and/or a coroner to defend against such alleged defense. ( http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/4513.263 )

Citations

(1) http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/2903.06 

(2) http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/2125.01v1

 

By Anthony Castelli 

Law Office of Anthony D. Castelli

Cincinnati Personal Injury Law Firm

513-621-2345

www.castellilaw.com