Sometimes, the cause of a car accident is not obvious and requires a thorough investigation. That was the case recently in Missouri, after a wrong-way car crash killed both drivers and injured four others. Investigators are unsure why one of the drivers was heading the wrong direction. If their findings indicate that the driver was in any way negligent, it could strengthen the case for a wrongful death suit by the decedent's family, as well as any personal injury claims by the survivors.
The crash occurred early in the afternoon on Interstate 44 near Sarcoxie when the out-of-state driver, who was heading west in the eastbound lane, struck a car head-on in her pickup truck. Both drivers died. The four passengers in the vehicle that was struck were all transported to the hospital with serious injuries. One passenger required a medical helicopter.
The Missouri Highway Patrol is trying to determine why or how the pickup truck driver ended up in the wrong direction. They are investigating her background and where she might have been going in an effort to determine what lead to the accident. They expect their investigation to be complete within a month.
In the aftermath of the accident, the survivors and the loved ones of the decedents undoubtedly have more questions than answers. Under Missouri's personal injury laws, the injured parties and the family members of the decedent in the second vehicle have the right to pursue civil litigation against the estate of the pickup truck driver. If the investigation confirms that the pickup truck driver caused the accident by reckless or negligent actions, it may help the survivors and family members successfully litigate their cases. Any compensation awarded from a wrongful death or personal injury claim can help defray medical and funeral costs, in addition to allowing the parties to achieve some closure.
Source: ozarksfirst.com, "Vehicle Accident on I-44 Kills Two," Jan. 14, 2013