Colorado drivers likely know that accidents can happen very quickly, even when the best safety precautions are taken. Unfortunately, when caution is thrown to the proverbial wind, car accidents can be even more devastating and may lead to criminal and/or civil liability for any party found to be at fault. For one Colorado teenager, the future may hold one or both of those potential liabilities after an evening of stunts caused the death of one passenger and injuries to two others.
According to reports, the driver of the car was attempting what are known as "j-turns", or causing the car to spin 180 degrees by applying the emergency brake. As the driver was attempting this stunt, the car lost control and slammed into a mobile home. One passenger in the car sustained life-threatening injuries in the crash and died later at a hospital. Two other passengers sustained non-life threatening injuries. No one was inside the mobile home at the time of the crash.
The identities of the parties involved were not disclosed in reports immediately following the crash. News reports indicate that criminal charges may be filed against the driver in connection to the death of the passenger. In addition to these criminal charges, the family of the teenager killed may also seek civil actions against the driver, as may the injured survivors.
Under Colorado's personal injury laws, an individual victim, or the family of a deceased victim, may choose to seek damages from any party deemed to have negligently caused the injuries or death. In this accident, the driver may be the target of personal injury and wrongful death claims. Successfully litigated civil claims can provide much needed financial assistance to the family of a deceased victim, or to a surviving victim whose lives and finances have been changed due to a serious accident. Car accidents are difficult enough to recover from, physically and mentally, and Colorado residents should not have the added burden of financial difficulty during these times.
Source: foxnews.com, "Colorado stunt-driving accident leaves 1 teenager dead, another critically injured," March 11, 2013