Families who lose a loved one in any type of car accident can seek compensation for medical expenses and emotional damages. This is especially true when recklessness or negligence on the part of another driver contributed to the accident. In some cases, authorities may decide to pursue criminal charges, which could have an impact on the outcome of personal injury lawsuits.
Our Floyd County readers may be interested in the case of a woman in north Georgia. The 23-year-old woman pleaded guilty on Jan. 11 to charges of failure to obey an authorized person directing traffic and vehicular homicide. According to authorities, the charges stem from a car accident that took place on Interstate 75 in January of last year.
A veteran police officer and member of the Atlanta Police Honor Guard was helping another driver who was stranded on the interstate when the 23-year-old driver struck the officer and killed her.
The woman was working at a restaurant on the day of the accident, according to her mother. After work, she spent some time at a bar. According to authorities, the plea bargain in this case will result in a prison term of 16 years.
In many personal injury cases, the injured party must work to prove negligence or fault on the part of another driver. Criminal charges and pleas can change that dynamic but may also change the amount of compensation a defendant is required to pay. In cases involving serious injuries or death, victims should understand their rights and how legal actions by third parties can affect their cases.
Source: wsbtv.com, "Driver pleads guilty to crash that killed Atlanta officer," Jan. 11, 2013