Losing a loved one in a sudden and fatal car accident is not only difficult to accept, but also places an emotional and financial burden on family members. Even though nothing can replace the loss of a loved one, filing a wrongful death claim to hold the inattentive or reckless driver accountable may ease the emotional and financial burdens caused by the incident.

The families of a 59-year-old New Orleans woman and a 65-year-old man may consider taking such a legal action against the driver who struck her vehicle and pushed it off the road, resulting in her death.

The woman was sitting in the back left seat of a car that was pulled to the side of the road due to mechanical problems. The car was flashing its hazard lights, which is likely what prompted a 65-year-old man to pull over his own car and help the occupants of the stopped car.

For reasons still unknown, a car driven by a 20 year old traveled into the road’s shoulder and hit the woman’s car, which ultimately caused the unsuspecting driver’s death. However, this was not the end of the matter, as the same car then hit the 65-year-old man and his vehicle. The 65 year old also died as a result of the accident. There were other passengers in the woman’s car who suffered minor injuries and were taken to the hospital.

Even though authorities do not suspect alcohol or speed played a role in the accident, the driver’s blood was taken for toxicology tests. Authorities actually believe that fatigue may have played a role in the accident. Charges have not yet been filed against the driver, and the accident continues to be investigated.

If driver fatigue is indeed the culprit behind the crash, then the at-fault driver could be held liable for negligence through a civil claim. A fatigued driver’s refusal to pull over to the side of the road and continue driving despite being overly tired demonstrates a lack of caution and regard for other motorists.

Source: The Times-Picayune, “State Police suspect fatigue caused Boutte crash that left Metairie man, New Orleans woman dead,” Naomi Martin, Oct. 6, 2012