On behalf of The Frickey Law Firm, posted on Wednesday, September 11, 2013.
Colorado drivers are expected to remain alert and adapt appropriately to sudden traffic changes, especially as cool autumn days are replaced by harsh winter weather. Defensive driving skills can mean the difference between survival and catastrophic injuries or death in a motor vehicle accident.
No matter how well a driver responds to Denver traffic conditions, there are some situations motorists are unlikely to anticipate – like a vehicle on the wrong side of the road barreling straight for you. Wrong-way accident survivors report surreal feelings in the moments before crashes like these. Regrettably, shocked and slowed driver responses often result in fatal auto accidents.
A driver’s stunned reaction to an oncoming vehicle is the same response any motorist might have. Blame for wrong-way accidents is almost always placed on the driver of the car going the wrong direction. Alcohol contributes to a majority of wrong-way crashes, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.
State troopers suspect intoxication in a recent Denver wrong-way car crash on Interstate 25. A mother of four children, ages 6 to 16, was killed on the way home from a nighttime, weekend concert. The 34-year-old was a passenger in a car driven by her boyfriend, who was injured but survived.
Police suspect the 27-year-old wrong-way driver was intoxicated. It was not the woman’s first drunk driving arrest. Vehicular homicide and DUI charges were filed.
State laws differ over the eligibility of plaintiffs to file claims for wrongful deaths. Some states allow a short list of possible claimants that include spouses and minor children but exclude older children or parents of adult accident victims. Colorado laws prioritize who can file wrongful death claims and timelines for when petitions may be submitted.
A wrongful death jury considers the issue of negligence before making any move toward awarding damages. Cases are frequently resolved by settlements when evidence of recklessness is indisputable.
nydailynews.com, “Denver marijuana activist and mother of four killed by drunk driver” David Knowles, Sep. 05, 2013