When a loved one dies because of another party’s negligent or reckless actions, the family of the deceased has the right to hold the responsible party accountable through a wrongful death lawsuit, regardless of the outcome of any criminal trial that follows the death. Wrongful death claims are civil actions that allow grieving families to pursue the full measure of legal justice.
Questions of justice have arisen after the sudden death of a college student in downtown Columbus. According to witnesses, a speeding pickup truck with a flat tire crashed into a school bus just as the college student, who was an engineering intern, was crossing the street. She and a city engineer were struck. The engineer suffered critical injuries, and the young woman died at the scene.
The driver of the pickup, his passenger and the bus driver were also injured and required medical treatment. According to the pickup driver, his female passenger was assaulting him at the time of the accident, and he was trying to speed to the police station.
There were three students on the bus when it was struck, and those students are believed to come away from the crash without injuries.
It remains to be seen whether the pickup driver or anyone else will be convicted of a crime. Still, in their grief, the family of the deceased student has a right to seek legal justice beyond the criminal court.
In many cases, while a police investigation may strengthen a personal injury or wrongful death claim, an attorney with experience in this area of law can further investigate the facts of the accident with a view toward holding the responsible party accountable in a civil capacity.