Distracted Drivers May Face Civil Liability as Well as Criminal Charges

A teenage driver is facing criminal charges after she allegedly struck and killed a jogger in a March 2012 distracted driving accident. The driver, who was age 16 at the time of the crash, is accused of surfing the web on her smartphone at the time of the crash. According to news reports, prosecutors claim that the girl viewed a website on her smartphone within two seconds of the first 911 call about the crash, and that she did slow down before striking the jogger. The driver has been charged as an adult with negligent homicide and is expected to appear in court on September 22.

Civil Liability May Apply, Regardless of Criminal Charges

Distracted drivers who cause accidents that kill or injure other people can face civil liability for their actions regardless of whether or not they are charged or convicted of a crime in connection with the crash. This typically occurs when an injured accident victim files a personal injury lawsuit against the distracted driver or his or her insurance company. In cases involving fatalities, the victim's surviving family members may elect to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

By filing a personal injury lawsuit, a person who has been injured in a crash with a distracted driver can receive monetary damages to help compensate for the losses they have suffered as a result of the crash. A financial settlement can help provide the injured person with the tools they need to make the best recovery possible after an accident. Depending on the circumstances, a person who has been injured in a distracted driving crash in Connecticut may be able to recover compensation for:

  • Past, present and future medical costs
  • Rehabilitative care
  • Loss of income
  • Other monetary losses sustained as a result of the crash
  • Nonfinancial harm, such as pain and suffering or permanent disfigurement

When a person dies as a result of a distracted driving accident, his or her family may be able to receive financial compensation from the person who caused the crash, or from that person's insurance company. Damages in a Connecticut wrongful death lawsuit may include compensation for:

  • Medical costs
  • Hospitalization
  • Funeral expenses
  • Loss of income and support
  • Nonfinancial losses, such as pain and suffering or mental anguish

While no amount of money can make up for the loss of a loved one, a financial settlement can help an accident victim's surviving family members cope with the sudden change in economic circumstances and begin putting their lives back together again. To learn more about seeking compensation after a distracted driving crash, accident victims and their families are encouraged to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer.