A man pleaded not guilty after being charged with vehicular homicide after an auto accident that killed a man on the night of Aug. 3 in Washington. According to state police, the 25-year-old man was traveling northbound on Route 7 when he lost control of his Toyota pickup; while going around a curve the pickup rolled over, resulting in the partial ejection of his male passenger. The passenger was reportedly trapped between the truck and a guardrail and died at the scene.
According to Washington State Patrol, the driver stated that he and the deceased had been drinking most of the day. The victim had asked the driver to drive after the two left a local bar. The driver reportedly showed signs of intoxication at the accident scene. A $75,000 bail amount was set.
When car accidents result in fatalities, surviving family members are often faced with catastrophic financial situations they never anticipated. A negligent driver, especially one who drives under the influence of alcohol, may be held responsible for the death of the family member. Surviving family members may wish to retain an attorney to make sure that the driver is held legally accountable.
One concern that family members of a decedent may have is something that is known as comparative negligence. Some may speculate as to whether the deceased was partially responsible for their demise because they agreed to ride with a drunk driver. Awards, even at a somewhat reduced amount, may still be granted to a spouse or dependent of the deceased. An attorney's professional advice may be beneficial under these circumstances.
Source: The News Tribune, "Man pleads not guilty to vehicular homicide in crash that killed University Place man", Stacia Glenn, August 05, 2014