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Wrongful death in British Columbia depends on many variables

What is newsworthy in our culture is reported and carried by several sources, each offering a different angle or approach to the same news item. One of the main criteria for what makes the news is based on how well a news story captures attention. Invariably, death by misadventure or accident makes headlines in British Columbia, gaining momentum when questions about fault arise, creating the potential for wrongful death litigation.

Unlike the immediacy of news reporting, police investigations take time. Factors such as excessive speed, driver distraction, impaired driving, and deliberate recklessness must all be evaluated. Eyewitness accounts are especially important, particularly when, as in a recent case, a fatal vehicle collision occurs at the intersection of a remote rural highway. Last weekend, the driver of a pick-up truck was declared dead at the scene following a crash with a tractor-trailer on the Old Cariboo Highway.

The semi driver walked away unscathed -- not unusual given that a semi's cab sits much higher than that of a standard vehicle. Nevertheless, when injuries result in death, the victim's family is beset by questions which, in their grief, they can barely articulate. The "why," "how," and "who" may not fully emerge from investigations conducted by authorities for months or longer, making it difficult for the family to accept and move beyond the loss of a loved one.

The experience of a personal injury lawyer may be of great assistance in such scenarios of loss. By collating eyewitness or first responder accounts and reviewing any investigative material prepared by British Columbia authorities, he or she can help determine fault, if any. If the bereaved family decides to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit, a personal injury lawyer could also assess end-of-life expenses as well as help quantify potential damages arising from their new but wholly unwelcome realities.

Source: castanet.net, "Dead after semi-crash", Alanna Kelly, Nov. 14, 2017

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