When a loved one is killed in a preventable accident, surviving family members — understandably — want justice. While most people assume that justice will come through the criminal justice system, many families are unsatisfied with the outcome. Fortunately, those who lost a loved one in a fatal accident in California have the option of seeking justice in a civil court.
One family may be choosing whether to take such action after they lost their family member in a fatal motorcycle accident last year. According to reports, a 22-year-old man was riding his motorcycle on a California roadway. Police claim that although an oncoming driver stopped before attempting a left turn, he failed to see the motorcycle and turned into its path.
The motorcyclist was ejected from the motorcycle due to the resulting collision. The driver of the vehicle that struck him recently pleaded no contest to several charges against him, including vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. A judge recently sentenced him to five years of probation and a year in county jail.
In his decision — which followed statements from the victim’s family and friends — the judge said he was sympathetic to the family but determined that the driver was a first time offender and a low risk. In the further pursuit of justice and to ensure that the family can manage the financial complications of a fatal accident, including funeral expenses and lost wages, they have to option of filing a civil suit. If negligence can be proved — a claimed supported by outcome of the criminal court case — they could receive an award of damages.
Source: ksby.com, “No prison time for Orcutt man in deadly DUI crash”, July 5, 2017