Personal injury suit filed by former North Carolina lawmaker
In 2011 a former North Carolina lawmaker was involved in an accident. At first, it appeared that the former lawmaker was the one at fault for the accident. Since that time, a more thorough investigation into the crash has revealed that the other driver, who was killed in the crash, was actually the responsible party. Now, the former legislator has filed a personal injury suit against the estate of the deceased driver and the bar that served him alcohol prior to the accident.
The lawsuit claims that the other driver was intoxicated and that the restaurant and bar where he had been drinking should have known that he had too much to drink. When the man left the establishment, he got behind the wheel of his car and was driving recklessly. The suit claims that the accident would not have occurred but for the negligence of both the restaurant and bar and the driver’s decision to get behind the wheel after he had been drinking.
When the accident first occurred, the former North Carolina legislator was charged with “misdemeanor death by motor vehicle” as it was assumed during the preliminary investigation that he was at fault. Last November he was cleared of that charge. The extent of the lawmaker’s injuries is not known.
As this case illustrates, it is possible for investigators to inappropriately assign responsibility right after an accident. Many times, the original assumptions are corroborated by a thorough investigation and it is safe to proceed with a civil action for personal injury or wrongful death. However, sometimes, it pays to wait until the official investigation has been completed to be sure that all of the facts have been determined. Those facts can be used as evidence of negligence in a civil action.
Source: wbtv.com, “Ex-NC lawmaker sues estate of man in a fatal crash,” July 23, 2013