Drunk Driver Involved in a Deadly Wrong-Way Collision
This past Thanksgiving weekend, a fatal traffic collision occurred on Santa Fe Drive and Harvard Avenue. The accident happened after 27-year-old A. Morris drove her car southbound on Santa Fe Drive and entered the northbound lanes, colliding head-on with another vehicle. The force of the crash ejected a passenger from the vehicle opposite Morris’ car, killing her shortly after. The deceased, 27-year-old K. Broderick, passed away at the scene due to blunt force traumatic injuries. According to another injured occupant, Broderick was on her way to catch a flight departing for Iceland.
Police arrested Morris under suspicion of drunk driving. According to a probable cause statement for her arrest, Morris displayed signs of intoxication, including slurred speech, trouble standing, and an odor of alcohol on her breath. Law enforcement said that Morris also failed field sobriety tests that they conducted at the hospital where she was taken after the accident. Police are waiting for the results of her blood test as to her alcohol level.
Drunk Driver Wrongful Death Lawsuits
When a person kills another in a drunk driving car crash, not only do they face criminal charges for vehicular homicide, they are also likely to be found liable in a wrongful death lawsuit. Under Colorado law, the spouse or heirs of the decedent can institute a civil action for damages against the at-fault party for wrongfully or negligently causing the decedent’s death.
The standard of proof between civil and criminal actions is different. To recover compensatory damages in a wrongful death lawsuit, the plaintiff must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant wrongfully or negligently caused the decedent’s death. Accordingly, evidence only needs to show that the defendant was more likely at fault than not.
Conversely, in a criminal proceeding for vehicular homicide, a successful conviction requires the prosecutor to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant killed the victim while driving a car under circumstances indicating a reckless disregard for the safety of others. Because the standard of proof is higher in a criminal case than in a civil lawsuit, it is possible for a jury to find the defendant liable for damages even though another jury acquited them in their criminal case.
Skilled Legal Advocacy from a Drunk Driving Accident Attorney in Denver
If your loved one was killed in an accident caused by another person’s drunk driving, you might be entitled to a legal remedy compensating you for your losses. That’s why you should consult the legal advice of a qualified drunk driving accident attorney in Denver. At Denver Trial Lawyers, we have experience litigating drunk driving accidents that lead to catastrophic injury or wrongful death. We will passionately advocate for your right to recover damages for the losses that flow from the wrongfully or negligently caused death of your loved one.
Contact Denver Trial Lawyers online or call us at (303) 586-3638 today to schedule an appointment with an experienced drunk driving accident attorney.