While most people may think of fatal car accidents as involving high speeds and heavily-traveled highways, the reality is that fatal accidents can happen anywhere and at any time, including in a parking lot. The San Antonio Express-News recently reported on a fatal accident that took place in the parking lot of Hunt Methodist Church. At approximately 10:00 a.m., as people were leaving church services, a van allegedly went out of control and struck four other vehicles, as well as 68-year-old Vickie Oehler, wife of Kerr County Commissioner Bruce Oehler. Emergency personnel flew Oehler to San Antonio Military Medical Center by helicopter, where she was pronounced dead.
While it is unclear at this point what caused the van to go out of control and the accident to occur, the Kerr County Sheriff and the Department of Public Safety are continuing to investigate the matter. When a fatal accident occurs, there are two different legal perspectives from which to examine the situation. First, authorities must determine whether any criminal activity occurred that led to the accident. For instance, if the driver that causes a fatal accident was intoxicated, then the driver may be charged criminally for his role in causing the accident. On the other hand, if the driver acted negligently in any way in causing the accident, or with a lack of reasonable care given the circumstances, then the driver also may be civilly liable to any victims of the accident. In this manner, depending on what the cause of the accident, a person can face both criminal and civil liability.
In the case of a fatal accident, the deceased person’s surviving immediate family members may have the right to pursue a wrongful death action against the responsible party or parties who acted negligently in causing the accident. Damages available in wrongful death suits may include medical expenses incurred prior to death, funeral expenses, and loss of future income. To explore whether you may be entitled to damages for the loss of a loved one due to the negligence of another, please contact your Seguin, Texas wrongful death attorney today.