In addition to campaigns regarding driving drunk and texting while driving, law enforcement agencies here in Louisiana do what they can to remind everyone of the importance of buckling up. Each year, several people lose their lives when they are thrown out of a vehicle during a crash. This can cause what could have been a survivable accident for all of a vehicle’s occupants to become a fatal auto accident.
The Louisiana State Police recently reported that the passenger in a single-vehicle accident was ejected during a crash. Somehow, the driver of the car, a 27-year-old woman, failed to negotiate a curve. The vehicle left the roadway, careened into a ditch and flipped. No further details regarding the wreck — such as whether the driver was impaired and/or speeding — were released.
Despite initially surviving being thrown from the vehicle, the 36-year-old man died from the injuries he suffered in the incident shortly after being taken to a hospital in the area. The driver suffered only minor injuries. However, that may be where her good fortune ends. Police took her into custody and booked her into the Lafourche Parish Jail on suspicion of careless operation and vehicular homicide.
In addition to any criminal proceedings that result from this fatal auto accident, she could also face a wrongful death claim from the victim’s family. Regardless of whether the victim was not properly restrained, the driver owed him a duty of care. If the court agrees that she breached that duty through some negligent act, a monetary judgment may be entered by the court in favor of the family, which could be reduced by any percentage of liability assigned to the deceased man by the court.