According to police reports, two Wapato men were killed early last Sunday morning. The two were in a vehicle that appears to have veered off of Track Road. The driver may have tried to correct the problem and over-steered, causing the vehicle to collide with a telephone pole. Both the driver and the passenger of the vehicle were ejected from the vehicle, causing fatal injuries.
Although law enforcement officials are not certain which of the men was driving the vehicle at the time of the accident, there are likely two families grieving the loss of a family member at this time. For those families, many legal questions may come to mind, such as “Who was at fault?”; “Was something wrong with the vehicle?”; “Was driver error responsible for the accident?”; and “What legal options do we have?” All of these questions are perfectly normal under the circumstances.
How Can You Determine What Caused an Accident?
Determining the cause of an accident typically starts with law enforcement. The resources available to law enforcement, however, are often limited. More importantly, law enforcement often leaves a case as “cause unknown” in the official report. Families often turn to an experienced wrongful death attorney when the cause of an accident is left unclear. A wrongful death attorney may be able to employ experts, such as an accident reconstruction expert, to prove who was at fault in the accident. Determining fault, or “negligence” in legal terminology, is usually the first step in securing compensation for the victim’s family.
What If the Problem Was the Vehicle Itself?
Not all accidents are caused by driver error. Sometimes, a faulty part in the vehicle itself is the cause of the accident. In that case, the manufacturer, or someone else along the distribution chain, is at fault instead of the driver of the vehicle. In this case, the family may have a product liability lawsuit. A product liability lawsuit generally holds a company responsible for defects in design or defects caused during the manufacture of a product as well as for failing to warn of an inherently dangerous product.
What Legal Options Does the Family Have If Another Driver Was Responsible?
If the driver of another vehicle was responsible for the death of the decedent, the family of the victim may have a valid wrongful death lawsuit. A wrongful death lawsuit attempts to compensate close family members, such as a spouse and/or children, for the loss of the decedent. The family may be entitled to compensation that represents things such as the income the decedent would have contributed but for the accident or the value of the household services the decedent would have contributed if the accident hadn’t happened.
If you have been injured in a Yakima car accident and would like to make an appointment for a free consultation, contact the team at Mariano Morales Law today by calling (509) 853-2222, or use our online contact form.