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Car crashes can stem Missouri wrongful death action

The unexpected death of a friend or loved one can be difficult for anyone to bear. What can make the grieving process more difficult is if an individual is killed based on the alleged criminal act of another. Car crashes resulting from intoxication cause many such tragedies across the state of Missouri each year, leading many families to seek restitution for damages suffered through the filing of a wrongful death action in civil court.

In a recent tragic case, a man who had been working for the Missouri Department of Transportation for 15 years was struck and killed in a car accident as he was attempting to direct traffic early one morning. The accident is believed to have occurred just prior to 3 a.m. At that time, a car operated by a 35-year-old man is said to have caused the fatal accident. He is accused of hitting the victim after driving through cones and flares that indicated an accident had occurred.

The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. Meanwhile, the car driver was taken to a local hospital to be treated for an undisclosed number of injuries. Police say that a blood-alcohol test disclosed that the man had a BAC of over .18 percent, which is over twice the legal limit in Missouri.

A significant number of Missouri car crashes are caused by negligence, Driver distraction is often cited as one of the reasons, but when any such distraction is caused by drinking and driving, the stakes may be higher. As the criminal justice system begins to consider the charges against this man, the surviving family of the fatal victim may assess the viability of pursuing a wrongful death action. While no amount of money can undo the tragedy that has already occurred, a successful civil lawsuit may help the family achieve some sense of justice while also providing restitution for damages sustained.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle, "Mo. transportation worker struck, killed on I-70," Bill Draper, Sept. 21, 2012

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