Depending on the facts of the particular case, a driver whose negligence caused injuries to another party can be held legally accountable in two ways: in civil court and criminal court. A criminal conviction for a crime such as manslaughter can lead to jail time for the offender, but the family of the deceased victim may need to bring a wrongful death lawsuit to see the full measure of justice.
This may be the case after a recent three-vehicle crash in Cheshire. A 50-year-old motorcyclist was killed when the driver of an SUV turned left into the motorcyclist's path, and now the SUV driver is charged with manslaughter.
The accident happened shortly after 10:30 p.m. on Oct. 20, just as the motorcyclist and another driver were travelling in the same direction on Route 10.
According to police, the SUV driver was coming from the opposite direction when he tried to turn in front of the other two vehicles. The SUV collided with the motorcycle and the car, and the man on the bike was thrown. The car driver reportedly didn't suffer any injuries, but the motorcyclist died at the scene.
Now the SUV driver is facing a charge of second-degree manslaughter. He is also accused of failing to grant the right of way and interfering with a police officer.
Often in such cases, the penalties for a criminal conviction seem too lenient to the family of the victim. A civil lawsuit against the negligent driver is one way of ensuring that a wrongdoer is held fully accountable.
Source: Middletown Patch, "City Man Faces Manslaughter Charge After Motorcycle Crash," Cassandra Day, Oct. 21, 2013