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Charges possible in fatal Texas shopping center crash

Even when an accident is prompted by a medical condition or an event that is out of the driver's control, wrongful death charges can still sometimes be filed. This is especially true if investigators are able to prove that the driver could have avoided the accident if he or she had been more responsible.

Investigators may determine whether the driver disclosed his medical condition to the DMV or had been taking medication for the condition. Whether or not criminal charges are filed, those affected by an accident can seek compensation for damages related to personal injury and wrongful death.

On Aug. 4, a truck plowed into a group of families with children in a shopping center parking lot in Lake Worth, Texas. One child, a 7-year-old girl, was killed, and a 9-year-old girl was seriously injured. The conditions of the other victims, including two other children, are unknown at this time. According to the daughter of the 82-year-old driver, the elderly man may have had a seizure related to diabetes. The driver was conscious but dazed, and he was not arrested at the scene of the accident. However, he reportedly could be charged with manslaughter.

Though no amount of money can compensate for the death of a child, some practical consideration must be given to the needs of the family. Frequently, parents must take considerable time off of work while grieving for a lost child. Funeral and medical expenses must be considered as well. If manslaughter charges are filed, a personal injury attorney may wait until those charges are resolved before filing a personal injury suit. Even without charges, the driver or the driver's insurance company can be sued for damages related to the accident.

Investigators released surveillance footage of this particular crash that shows the truck moving at a slow pace before suddenly accelerating. The vehicle struck two separate groups of pedestrians before it crashed into two cars that were parked in the lot.

Though the driver's seizure could mean that he is not held criminally responsible for the accident, it may still be possible for an attorney to successfully litigate a wrongful death suit.

Source: KENS5.com, "Surveillance video shows deadly Texas parking lot crash," Jonathan Betz, Aug. 6, 2012

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