Another tragic loss of human life occurred in Tennessee on Friday, May 22, when an SUV driven by a 31-year-old Walland woman crossed into oncoming traffic and caused an accident that killed two people on a motorcycle. The SUV hit a total of four oncoming motorcycles, injuring several other riders, according to the Tennessee Highway Patrol. It appears that the families of the decedents have personal injury claims for wrongful death damages against the SUV driver.
Another wrong-way driver has apparently caused a deadly accident in Tennessee. The multi-vehicle car crash occurred at about 2:30 a.m. on Interstate 40 on Saturday, May 16. The suspected wrong-way driver is believed to have entered the highway at the westbound exit at Old Hickory in west Nashville while traveling in an easterly direction.
If a driver fleeing from police gets into an accident, it's a good bet that he or she was driving negligently or recklessly. However, the cause of a car crash in Tennessee must be investigated strictly on the facts of what happened and not solely on the condition or prior carelessness of either driver. The fact that the first driver was fleeing or impaired does not in itself allow for a conclusion that the driver is legally liable for injuries that may have occurred.
The appropriate type of civil lawsuit to file against a negligent driver for causing death in a traffic accident is called a wrongful death action. The family of the deceased must file an estate in the person's county of residence, and it is the estate that files against the person or persons who are liable to pay compensation. Death claims in Tennessee and elsewhere can be significant, particularly where there may be an extended amount of lost wages or lost earning capacity over the lifetime of a younger victim.