When Colorado residents lose loved ones in accidents that are caused by the negligence of other parties, they can pursue financial relief through the civil justice system regardless of whether the drivers are criminally charged or convicted. Two fatal auto-pedestrian accidents in Colorado Springs occurred in March and May. The reason for the different legal outcomes is currently being questioned.
The first pedestrian was a 79-year-old man who walked across a parking space as a driver was backing his vehicle into it. The pedestrian suffered critical injuries to which he succumbed a week later. The 45-year-old driver was criminally charged after the pedestrian died, but the charges against him were dismissed within hours.
The second incident occurred when a 26-year-old driver backed up after overshooting a stop sign. At that moment an 86-year-old pedestrian was behind his car in the crosswalk. The vehicle struck the pedestrian, causing injuries that led to his death some days later. This driver was also charged, and he pleaded guilty in a recent hearing.
Some people are questioning whether the first case was dismissed because the driver was a former leader of a political party, but the district attorney’s office explained that the second victim was in a crosswalk, making it a chargeable offense. Regardless, the families of both the victims of these two fatal auto-pedestrian accidents may pursue claims for financial relief. In similar cases, an experienced Colorado wrongful death attorney can help with establishing negligence which will be required by a civil court before documented claims will be adjudicated. These can include financial losses such as end-of-life expenses along with emotional damages sustained.
Source: kktv.com, “DA’s office says victim’s use of crosswalk made difference in charges for deadly auto-pedestrian accidents“, Jessica Leicht, Sept. 27, 2017