Those who drive for a number of years face a probability that they will someday be involved in a car accident. Car crashes can be scary, especially if the accident is serious. When a person is involved in an accident that results in serious bodily injury or the death of a loved one, the aftermath of the accident can be difficult to handle.
In Erie County, Pennsylvania recently, a car accident involving a State Police SUV and another vehicle resulted in the death of the driver of the other vehicle. The state trooper driving the SUV allegedly failed to stop at a stop sign and ended up being hit by a car that was lawfully going through the intersection. The driver of the other vehicle was pronounced dead at the scene. The trooper who was driving as well as another trooper in the SUV had to be cut out of the wreckage of their vehicle. They were treated for minor injuries.
Significantly, the State Police SUV was not responding to a call at the time of the accident. For purposes of a wrongful death lawsuit, the case is therefore just like any other negligent driving case. The families of the victim of an accident in which the police are at fault still have the same right to bring a claim in a court of law.
In a wrongful death lawsuit, the deceased victim's next of kin have the right to seek damages for loss of financial support and loss of companionship, among other losses. Proving the full extent of the damages in these cases can be a complex task, sometimes requiring the testimony of economic experts.
Source: The Patriot-News, "Pa. woman killed as State Trooper runs stop sign in patrol vehicle," John Luciew, July 7, 2014