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Student`s death in car accident may lead to wrongful death claim

Receiving news of the death of one's daughter while she was a passenger in someone else's car would naturally be a huge shock. In addition, the parents may have many questions relating to the circumstances of the accident, especially when the police have cleared the driver of the other vehicle from all wrongdoing. Although nothing can replace the deceased loved one, Alaska parents may consider filing a charge of wrongful death against the driver of the car in which their daughter was traveling as a passenger.

According to the media report, two females were passengers in a small southbound SUV on March 26. The 18-year-old driver allegedly failed to yield when she made a left turn off Yandukin Road in Juneau. Police reported that an approaching semi-trailer could not avoid a collision, and the SUV was T-boned. Police determined that there was no wrongful conduct on the side of the semi-trailer driver. The media report did not mention any injuries sustained by the driver of the semi-trailer.

The SUV driver sustained minor injuries, while one of the passengers was in critical condition and airlifted to a hospital. The second passenger sadly died at the accident scene. The case is reportedly being investigated as a homicide, and police have obtained a search warrant to obtain blood from the driver in order to determine whether alcohol or drugs were factors in the accident. Further warrants for searching the driver, the SUV and the driver's medical records were obtained. A police department spokesman revealed that 121 items were seized during the searches.

When Alaska residents lose a loved one who was a passenger in a vehicle driven by another person, they may want to gain information relating to wrongful death claims. If the driver is found to have been impaired or negligent and responsible for the death of a passenger, the next of kin retain the right to litigate a wrongful death claim in a civil court. If such a claim is presented successfully, the court may adjudicate claims for financial relief to assist those left behind in covering end-of life costs, along with other expenses related to the tragedy.

Source: adn.com, "Juneau police treating crash fatality a homicide", , April 2, 2014

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