Fatal car accidents result in heartache and misery for the victims' families. When fatal car accidents are caused by someone else's negligence or unsafe behavior, the victim's family may be able to pursue legal action against those responsible.
Individuals and businesses can be held liable for fatal car accidents, and can face wrongful death lawsuits filed by the victim's family. Many wrongful death lawsuits are filed after fatal car accidents when alcohol contributed to the crash. In these cases, the driver and place that provided the alcohol can be sued after a fatal accident.
A recent wrongful death lawsuit filed against a bar and bartender in Colorado is an example of the legal action individuals and businesses can face after a fatal accident. The parents of a 16-year-old girl killed in a drunk driving accident in Colorado have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Bayou Cajun Restaurant and Bar and the bartender who served the girl and her friends a few hours before they were all killed in a car accident.
The lawsuit claims the bartender served the three girls, two who were underage. After the three left the bar, they were killed after their car hit a semi truck head-on in a construction zone. The Colorado State Patrol said all three passengers had blood-alcohol levels over the legal limit, and the driver of the car had a BAC of .241.
The lawsuit alleges that the bartender and bar are responsible for the fatal accident because they served the underage driver alcohol, which caused the driver to be intoxicated and resulted in the fatal accident that killed their daughter.
The bartender has already pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of serving alcohol to a minor. However, the bartender claims that she did not serve the minors killed in the crash, and her no contest plea is not the same as a pleading guilty but it could still prove that the bartender is guilty of serving the alcohol to the minors. The bartender's criminal charge could impact the wrongful death lawsuit, depending on the evidence in the case.
This case is an example of the legal action families can take if their loved ones are killed in a car accident caused by a drunk driver. Not only can the driver be sued in some cases, but the bar and bartender who served the driver can also face legal action too.
Source: Post Independent, "Glenwood Springs restaurant-bar the Bayou hit with wrongful death suit over fatal accident," John Stroud, Sept. 26, 2013