Some accidents can have no closure even after countless hours of investigations, simulations and recreations. This can be even more trying than the actual accident as family members and those left behind seek answers and where to place the blame for the loss of their loved one. When the details of who did it, why and how come slow or not at all, a civil lawsuit may be the only venue left for surviving family members to find some semblance of an answer.
A taxi driver recently died on a bridge when her car erupted into flames after behind hit by a tractor trailer. Those who knew the woman spoke kind words about her life and disbelief at her death. She was the only person in the cab at the time of the car accident, and police are still investigating, primarily seeking why she was stopped in the right hand lane moments before the accident. The driver of the tractor trailer survived with only minor injuries.
Massachusetts follows a modified comparative negligence rule. This rule basically says that a party can't recover if they are 51 percent or more responsible for their injuries. In this case, the reason victim's car was stopped on the road could mean the difference between an award or not. The determination of fault in an accident is one that is made by the court or jury at the time of the trial.
Sometimes a civil case is more about the truth than about any award the court can grant. Regardless of the reason one brings a civil suit it is the court's job to help determine the truth and apply the law to that truth. By having a strong ally on his or her side, a victim or his or her surviving family can fight to discover the truth and recover any compensation that is owed.
Source: Boston Globe, "Cabdriver, 54, dies in fiery crash on Zakim Bridge," Travis Andersen and John R. Ellement, April 21, 2014