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Will wrongful death claim be filed re New Jersey fatal accident?

Few people would argue with the fact that accidents where a driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs are preventable. In nearly all cases where a drunk driver caused a wreck, it might have been avoided if the driver was not impaired. If a death results from an accident involving a drunk driver in New Jersey, that driver's impairment could provide the element of negligence required to establish financial liability in a wrongful death claim.

The family of a man recently killed in a single vehicle accident may rely on the driver's alleged inebriation to establish negligence on his part. Preliminary tests already indicate that the driver was intoxicated as he sped down New Jersey Route 3. As the driver attempted to merge onto Route 495, the vehicle slammed into the guardrail. The impact caused the car to become airborne, then crash on the driver's side. It skidded over 150 feet before being shredded when it hit a utility pole.

All three of the vehicle's occupants died as a result of the crash. The driver had come to New Jersey to pick up his cousin to take her to Massachusetts to meet his children. It remains unclear why the other man was with them.

One family has lost two of its members and another has lost one. The family of the passenger unrelated to the driver and his cousin may file a wrongful death claim against the estate of the deceased driver. Proving negligence to the court's satisfaction could result in an award of damages, which is often seen in these types of tragedies.

Source: sentinelandenterprise.com, "2 Leominster men among dead in N.J. crash", Michael Hartwell, July 5, 2014

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