Posted: October 8, 2011
The loss of life that could have and should have been avoided is tragic. The death of a child no matter the cause is life changing. I was again reminded of this when I read about a 2011 Lakota east graduate
of West Chester, Sarah Towler. Ms Towler was a passenger in a car driven by Derick Lynce who apparently lost control and rear ended another car. Saray Towler was caused a wrongful death and two other passengers were injured .
High speed and alchohol were considered to be factors. And some did not have seatbelts. My condolences to everyone . But driving is an awesome responsibility and people in a heartbeat can ruin their life as well as others if they don't drive the car carefully. The State will deal with this criminally. Civil law is the law that seeks compensation for these injuries and losses.
You may wonder what are everyone's rights. Everyone injured by the negligence of another has the right to bring a claim for their injuries. When someone is killed wrongfully, the family members, through the person appointed to represent their estate have a claim.
Speeding and driving into the rear of a car are statutory negligent acts. However, if alchohol was involved, that was a contributing factor to the car crash, and the passengers knew about it, then the defense of comparative negligence comes into play.
Additionally if you were an unbelted front seat passenger, your case could be affected in terms of non-economic damages, if a seat belt would have prevented your injuries. Additionally a drunk driver that injures another can also have punitive (punishment damages awarded) against them. Although insurance does not cover punitive damages.
It's hard to imagine there are some many legal issues that can arise from a car accident.