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Fatal accident leads to civil lawsuit after criminal acquittal

Car accidents can lead to legal issues for the person who caused the accident. These legal issues can include criminal and civil cases. Each type of case is independent of the other, so facing both types is possible. A recent civil action stemming from an accident that occurred in September 2015 comes on the heels of an acquittal in the criminal case.

The accident occurred when a business owner slammed into a group of bicyclists. The business owner claimed that the glare of the sun prevented him from being able to see the group as he was turning left. He was facing one count of wanton disregard of public safety and two counts of vehicular homicide.

Three cyclists were injured in the accident and two were killed. One of the cyclists was pronounced dead on the scene. The other died seven days later. The three cyclists who were injured noted that they have suffered serious injuries that could be permanent. They also say that they suffered psychological damage.

The family members of the cyclists who were killed and the three cyclists who were injured have filed a civil lawsuit that names multiple defendants, including the business owner, his companies and various insurance companies with which the man has policies. This lawsuit is seeking punitive damages. It alleges negligence, underinsured motorist benefits and loss of consortium.

People who are injured or have lost a family member in a car accident might opt to seek monetary compensation. Remembering that civil claims for compensation aren't affected by criminal cases is important.

Source: Courthouse News Service, "Civil Claims Over Fatal Ohio Bicycle Crash," Brian Grosh, June 27, 2016

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