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Wrongful death suit can provide additional justice

Patricia M. Jarzobski

In many criminal cases resulting from a fatal car accident, the outcome does not seem fair to the family of the deceased. The ins and outs of criminal defense strategies as well as a variety of sentencing guidelines and other factors can result in a sentence that seems woefully inadequate when an individual has died as a result of the actions of another. In these types of situations, wrongful death litigation can provide a family with an additional measure of justice, and help them feel as if they have obtained a form of closure in their loss.

A prime example lies in the recent sentencing of a teenage boy who struck and killed two women in 2012. The boy was driving a semi trailer through Colorado on the way to a competition in another state when he crashed into the women. At the time of the collision, they were stopped on the side of the road changing a flat tire.

Making matters worse, police believe that the boy's father drove him from the scene before police arrived. He then tried to claim that it was he and not his son who was driving at the time of the crash. He is also facing criminal charges in the incident.

At sentencing the teen received no jail time in connection to the Colorado hit-and-run crash. He will serve just two years of probation and 300 hours of public service, and will not be allowed to drive for two years. For the family of those who died in the crash, this sentence may feel like a mere slap on the wrist for not only causing the death of two people, but then fleeing from the scene and attempting to avoid taking responsibility for the accident. Should the family decide to move forward with a wrongful death sentence, proving negligence should be an easy hurdle to cross.

Source: waeb.com, "Teen sentenced in fatal eastern Colorado crash," Feb. 9, 2013

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