On August 19, a 33-year-old woman entered her plea in a Rutherford County, Tennessee, court on charges related to a fatal hit-and-run accident. The victim was changing a flat tire on his mother's car at the side of Interstate 24 when he was struck. Some of the charges against the female driver include vehicular homicide by intoxication, reckless assault and leaving the scene of a fatal crash.
At the arraignment hearing, the judge assigned the accused woman an attorney. She broke into tears after requesting that the judge not read the details of the indictment against her. September 15 was the date set for her next court appearance.
A memorial had been set up at the site of the accident, but The Tennessee Department of Transportation asked that it be taken down for the safety of drivers on the busy interstate. A spokesperson for the agency said the items in the memorial would be returned to the family.
An inattentive or distracted driver can turn a simple task into a hazardous undertaking. Incidents like this one show that simply changing a tire can turn someone into a car accident victim without warning.
People fighting criminal charges stemming from car accidents are not the only individuals who can benefit from attorneys' help. The family members of fatal accident victims can file wrongful death claims in civil courts to pursue compensation the parties they believe were responsible for those incidents. Police reports and witness statements are often used to build cases against the defendants of wrongful death lawsuits. Additionally, criminal charges connected to the incident in question can be used by a lawyer representing a plaintiff of such cases to establish a defendant's negligence.
Source: Chattanooga Times Free Press, "Middle Tennessee woman pleads not guilty in hit-and-run death", August 20, 2014