A 68-year-old Yakima woman caused what turned out to be a fatal crash last Monday when she attempted a U-turn in the middle of the street, according to the Yakima Herald. The Yakima resident tried to make a U-turn in her 2003 Ford Escape in the middle of Highway 97 about 12 miles south of Toppenish just before 10:00 a.m. last Monday morning.
The driver’s vehicle was struck by an oncoming vehicle, causing enough of an impact to total both vehicles.
The driver of the Escape, who was not wearing a seat belt, was taken to a local hospital from the scene of the crash and later transferred to another hospital in Seattle. Sadly, the driver later died from her injuries while at Harborview Medical Center.
Washington State prohibits: (1) a driver from turning a vehicle in the opposite direction unless the movement can be made safely and without interfering with traffic, and (2) proceeding in the opposite direction on any curve, or near the crest of a grade, if the vehicle cannot be seen by the driver of another vehicle approaching from either direction within 500 feet.
What Happens When the Negligent Party Dies in the Accident?
According to reports released by the Washington State Patrol, the driver of the other vehicle involved in the crash was not seriously injured in Monday’s collision; however, she did receive some relatively minor injuries and her vehicle was completely totaled.
If you are a victim of a car accident, or any other type of personal injury accident, and the negligent party is killed in the accident, you may be concerned about whether you will be able to recover compensation for your injuries in light of the fact that the person responsible is now dead.
An insurance company’s obligation to pay out for any injuries caused by an insured does not end simply because the insured died in the accident. By the same token, a defendant’s legal obligation, in general, does not end because he or she died. In some cases, the compensation to which a victim may be entitled then becomes a debt of the estate of the defendant. This can complicate matters because the defendant’s estate may be tied up in the legal process known as probate for months, even years, after his or her death. When that happens, it helps to have an experienced car accident attorney on your side who knows how to navigate the legal system and protect your right to compensation during the probate process.
If you have been injured in a Yakima area car accident, and you feel that you may be entitled to compensation for those injuries based on the fact that the accident was not your fault, then you owe it to yourself to have your case evaluated by an experienced Yakima-area car accident attorney.
The personal injury lawyers at The Mariano Morales Jr. Law Firm in Yakima can help. Contact our Washington accident attorneys today by calling 509-457-1948 or by using our online contact form for your free initial consultation.