Some pedestrian or car accidents are cut-and-dried, but others happen in a shadowy realm where it may be more challenging to identify fault legally. Last August, a 75-year-old Virginia man struck three members of a family as they were crossing a road. Unfortunately, one of the victims—a 57-year-old California woman—died and the other two suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
The man who struck the victims said that he believed he accidentally pressed the accelerator instead of the brakes when he saw the family crossing the road. Witness reports say that the driver was "visibly shaken" after the incident.
Car accident reconstruction revealed that the driver had indeed not applied his brakes before the accident. Data recorded by his automobile indicated that the car was traveling at 8 mph four seconds before the accident. The car then abruptly accelerated to 19 mph, which was the rate of speed at the time of the pedestrian-car accident. This data supports the driver's account of the events.
In the last week of April, a judge found the driver guilty of reckless driving and ordered the man to pay a $100 fine. The judge decided to delay making a decision about whether to take away the man's license until he completes a driving test with the Department of Motor Vehicles.
The remaining victims of this tragic car accident may not be satisfied with the court's decision. After all, even if the accident was not intentional, it can be argued that the driver is still responsible for causing the death of a human being. The best advice for victims of similar pedestrian-car accidents is to seek counsel about a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit with a qualified attorney.
Source: Richmond Times-Dispatch, "75-year-old man found guilty in fatal crash that killed Bonnie Baha, mom of U.Va. freshman. Will pay $100 fine," Lauren Berg, April 25, 2017