There are many car accidents that will involve a combination of civil liability and criminal charges from the state. In these situations, the civil case is necessary for the purposes of paying for expenses caused by the driver at fault.
A teenage driver who was responsible for a severe crash in Nashville that killed a police officer will be tried as an adult.
Metro police officer was killed by a teenager evading a traffic stop
The accident happened at approximately 3 am on a Thursday morning. The suspect’s Ford Fusion vehicle was seen on Gallatin Pike with its high beams on, and it was affecting traffic coming in the opposite direction. One of the officers in the area attempted to activate his overhead lights and stop the suspect. The driver slowed down, but did not come to a complete stop. The vehicle then suddenly fled near the intersections of 5th Ave and Main Street. The officer did not pursue the vehicle any further because it was not reported stolen. However, another officer was assisting at an unrelated incident nearby on Interstate Drive. When the suspect sped through this area, she struck the officer’s car on the driver’s side. After the initial impact, the police car spun around, hit a utility pole, and caught on fire. The 28 year old male officer died on the scene. The suspect in the Fusion and the passenger in the vehicle were both taken to a local hospital for treatment for their injuries, but they were not life threatening.
Multiple charges will be filed by local prosecutors, including vehicular homicide. A judge ruled that the driver, who was 17 at the time of the incident, will be tried as an adult for the crimes related to the collision.
The difference between civil and criminal cases related to the same accident
An incident such as this will normally produce both criminal charges that come from the state and a civil lawsuit that is filed by the victim or the family on their behalf. These cases will be treated separately in their respective court systems, and the outcome of one will not necessarily affect the other. A victim should always retain a civil attorney to try to receive compensation for things like medical treatment, hospitalization, and lost wages regardless of what happens with the criminal charges.
While things like traffic violations and criminal cases can be presented as evidence of negligence in a civil trial, the personal injury attorney will still have to prove fault and damages in order to make a settlement agreement or win a jury trial.
Speak with an accident attorney in your state
A law firm that serves clients in Tennessee is available to assist victims with their injury cases. George R. Fusner can help you get the financial assistance you need.