Drivers on the road have a duty of reasonable care for others, whether they are other drivers or pedestrians. When someone fails to adhere to traffic laws, tragic consequences can result. A young North Carolina boy died recently after trying to get on his school bus. The accident occurred when he was struck by a vehicle while attempting to cross the street. The child was a seventh grader at a local middle school.
The man authorities believe is responsible for the accident is now facing criminal charges. The 43-year-old has been charged with driving without a license and for felony death by motor vehicle. Neither he, nor anyone else in the van he was driving was injured in the accident.
No other students that were on the bus at the time sustained any injuries. Details of the accident are sketchy. It is unknown whether the man drove around the bus or struck the victim because he failed to stop on the opposite side of the road.
Any time an accident like this occurs, it is understandably heartbreaking for the family members. Although it may not be their focus right now, they likely have legal options available to them. When negligence causes a loved one's death, legal action in the form of a wrongful death suit can be commenced against the party deemed responsible. Although the van driver is facing criminal charges, he can be held separately liable in a North Carolina civil court based upon proof of negligence that proximately caused the fatality. While this won't change the outcome of the loss of the family's son, a successful claim could add an additional measure of justice against the person who they believe wronged them.
Source: wwaytv3.com, "12-year-old NC boy dies getting on school bus," Allyson Lorick, Oct. 26, 2012