A young man posted a surprising message to the video-sharing site YouTube recently, telling viewers that although he had not yet been arrested he was involved in a car accident that lead to a death. The video ended as a sort of public service announcement, begging viewers not to drink and drive.
The man in the video will be charged with a crime and faces up to eight years in prison if he is convicted. He may also be subject to civil litigation from the victim's family, who will have the right to seek compensation for his negligent behavior that led to the fatality.
As in other wrongful death cases, the family of the man who died in the car accident will be able to seek damages for medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and potentially for the pain and suffering caused by the loss.
Although the civil case does not depend directly on the criminal case, it is likely that both will rely on the video to establish the chain of events that led up to the car crash. Other evidence may also been introduced to support the claims made in the video.
This case is an important reminder of the dangers of drunk driving and the very serious consequences that can result from drinking and driving. Wrongful death litigation can help make up for financial losses associated with the loss of a family member, but no amount of money can undue the emotional harm cause by these accidents.
Source: ABC News, “Ohio Man Confesses in Video Killing Man in Crash,” Regina Garcia Cano, Sept. 6, 2013