On July 7, a Nebraska woman accused of causing a fatal accident involving a horse-drawn buggy pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of vehicular homicide in Pawnee County District Court. According to authorities, the fatal incident took place near Pawnee City on July 21, 2013.
Authorities stated that the Nebraska woman was driving a Cadillac with a learner's permit on a Nebraska highway when she collided with a horse-drawn buggy carrying a 21-year-old woman and her 17-year-old brother. As a result of the crash, the 21-year-old woman suffered critical injuries and her 17-year-old brother suffered fatal injuries, reportedly. Investigators in the case reported that there was no evidence indicating that the Nebraska woman attempted to avoid the buggy.
In Pawnee County District Court, the Nebraska woman also pleaded guilty to violating the conditions of her learner's permit. Prosecutors claimed that she was alone in the Cadillac at the time of the accident and that her learner's permit required a licensed driver to be present.
Irrespective of the resolution of the criminal charges brought against the Nebraska woman in this case, she might still be held accountable for the fatal accident in civil court if the people who suffered damages in connection with the event wished to pursue civil action. That is because certain family members of people who die in traffic accidents caused by negligent or reckless drivers may file wrongful death claims against those drivers.
Provided that the bereaved family members and their wrongful death attorney can prove to a civil court that the negligent driver caused the crash, the victim's family might be awarded financial compensation for the economic losses they suffered in connection with the fatal accident. These losses may include funeral expenses, the costs of their loved one's estate administration and even lost earnings if the decedent had contributed income to the family household while alive.
Source: The Republic , "Woman pleads guilty in fatal southeast Nebraska collision between car, horse-drawn buggy", July 08, 2014