Many residents of Ohio likely have loved ones who are reaching an elderly age where they become easily confused. Some of these older individuals may have difficulty driving safely. Upon the occurrence of an accident, some of these citizens may become frightened and not know what to do. Recently an 80-year-old Ohio woman left the scene of a fatal accident. The court system has sentenced her to five years of probation for her actions and involvement in the accident.
Oftentimes cases involving a car accident resulting in a death will lead to a wrongful death lawsuit. It is unclear what the cause of action was in this lawsuit, but it was brought by the survivors of the victim.
The victim was a 13-year-old boy. He was hit while handing out invitations to his birthday party. The car, driven by the 80-year-old woman, drove away from the scene of the accident. The police were tipped off by a mechanic after the woman brought her car in to be fixed and asked to pay for it without notifying her insurance company.
The family of the boy asked the judge to sentence the woman to prison. The maximum sentence was six years. Instead the judge decided on five years of probation and house arrest. In addition, her license was suspended for life and she was ordered to pay $125,000 in restitution.
A family is able to file a wrongful death lawsuit if their loved one's death was caused by the negligence of another individual. The recovery under this type of lawsuit may include lost wages, medical expenses, death expenses, pain and suffering or other financial obligations that arise as a result of the unexpected tragic incident.
Accidents such as this one are tough for all parties involved. Even the judge in this case admitted her decision was a struggle for her. She was sympathetic to the 80-year-old woman and her family, but also felt for the family of the young boy who was fatally injured. However, at the end of the day, it is important for those who cause injury to others to be held accountable for their actions.
Source: ABC 9, "80-year-old Ohio woman gets 5 years' probation for leaving fatal accident scene," John Kosich, Jan. 14, 2013