A fatal car accident that occurred on Interstate 480 in Cleveland on April 5 left one person dead and two injured. According to the report, the crash took place at approximately 11:30 p.m. near the exit ramp at West 130th Street.
Based on the preliminary investigation, the authorities believe that a 40-year-old man entered the exit ramp and began driving east in the westbound lanes of I-480. He struck another car head-on, causing serious damage. The driver of the other vehicle suffered injuries that were described as serious and was transported to MetroHealth Medical Center for treatment. A passenger who was in that vehicle died as a result of the collision.
The driver accused of causing the accident was also transported to a nearby hospital. As of April 9, he was still hospitalized but was taken into police custody for suspicion of drunk driving. He was charged with aggravated vehicular homicide and aggravated vehicular assault. At the time the report was released, police stated that they were determining whether or not to add charges related to drunk driving.
When individuals die in accidents suspected to have been caused by an impaired driver — as this one may have been — their surviving family members may suffer serious financial loses that could make their emotional and financial recovery incredibly difficult. However, in addition to criminal charges and sanctions upon conviction that the driver who caused the accident may face, the deceased person’s family members may be able to hold the driver responsible for economic and noneconomic damages by filing a wrongful death lawsuit.
This type of claim can be filed against the driver even if that driver is facing criminal charges. A family may file this claim as a way to recover the costs of any financial damages that they directly sustained as a result of the the fatal crash. For example, depending upon their relationship to the deceased person, the family may be able to seek funeral costs, lost income if they relied on the deceased person’s financial support and noneconomic damages such as loss of companionship.
Source: Cleveland.com, “Man taken into custody in connection with fatal I-480 crash,” Evan MacDonald, April 6, 2014