Car accidents are typically the result of careless driving and negligence. Sometimes, car accidents are caused because of the loss of brakes or some other vehicle malfunction. This is true for one case in which a Texas man was sentenced for the wrongful death of a 54-year-old woman.
The deadly accident occurred last year when the man was headed to his brother's house. He claims that his gas was running out and he sped up to 50 mph. However, when he approached a stop sign, his vehicle could not stop. He eventually crashed into another vehicle, which killed the driver and seriously injured a passenger.
The man was sentenced to 10 years' probation following a plea of guilty to manslaughter and aggravated assault. He was ordered to pay a fine and to also pay restitution for over $50,000 in medical expenses and funeral costs. Previously, the man had been facing a 20-year prison sentence for each charge, and that could still be re-examined if he were to disregard his probation obligation.
Even though the vehicle the man was driving had a recall, that still does not excuse the fact that he was speeding. In this case, the court found that his speeding was a contributing factor to the other driver's death and for her passenger's injuries. In addition, the man admitted to authorities that he knew of his vehicle's issues, but he did not have the funds to repair them. Texas residents who have lost family members may have the right to file wrongful death claims against another party to recover damages. These damages are usually awarded based upon evidence that the other party acted in a negligent manner.
Source: themonitor.com, "Edinburg man sentenced for fatal crash after car malfunctioned", Kristian Hernandez, Nov. 24, 2014