Losing a loved one is difficult when it is expected. When it is sudden and violent, as is the case in a fatal accident, it can be a devastating blow to family members. As part of the grieving process, many Nebraska residents become outraged and are eager for justice. Even if criminal proceedings are underway, families may decide to seek their own justice as well by filing a wrongful death claim against the person or persons deemed responsible.
For instance, the families of two people who were killed in an accident last Sept. 21 may exercise their rights and file civil actions against the man police say is responsible for the deaths of their loved ones. The two victims were traveling westward on Highway 34. Unbeknown to them, another vehicle was heading in their direction. Authorities say he was traveling in excess of the posted speed limit when he slammed into the back of their vehicle.
Both of the victims suffered fatal injuries in the crash, to which they succumbed at the scene. The allegedly speeding driver was taken into custody and is charged with two Class III felony counts of manslaughter. His trial is currently scheduled for April of this year.
Even though the Nebraska criminal proceedings are ongoing, any wrongful death claims filed by the families of the victims in connection with this fatal accident may proceed. The criminal case could go a long way toward resolving any liability issues in the civil suits if a conviction is secured. However, even without a conviction, the families will have the right to their day in court to prove negligence on the part of the driver. Successfully litigated claims could result in an award of monetary damages that could not only help defray the financial impact of the premature deaths of their loved ones, but also provide them with the sense of justice they may seek.
Source: whig.com, “Quincy man accused of killing two people in Nebraska crash set for April trial“, Jan. 6, 2015