In recent weeks, Bruce Jenner, known for being an Olympic gold medalist and starring on reality television’s Keeping Up With the Kardashians, has been featured in the news on an almost daily basis. While most of those articles and reports dealt with his decision to transition into a woman, he has also made headlines for being involved in a deadly car accident.
While he was never charged with any crime in connection with the fatal car accident, according to a recent report from CNN, Jenner has recently been named as defendant in a civil wrongful death lawsuit filed by alleged victim’s family.
Plaintiffs in this car accident lawsuit are decedent’s three stepchildren. In their complaint, they alleged Jenner negligently hit their stepmother’s car with his SUV, causing the car to be pushed into the path of an oncoming vehicle. In total, four cars were involved in the deadly crash.
During an interview with Diane Sawyer in late April, during which Jenner was mainly discussing transgender issues, he stated he was fully cooperating with police in relation to the car accident, and it occurred on a “tricky stretch of the highway.” In that spot, the roadway had narrowed and was particularly curvy.
It should be noted police had not determined Jenner was at fault in the accident, as he was the third of fours cars hit in the auto accident. It is likely Jenner’s car was hit and pushed into victim’s car.
As our Charlotte car accident lawyers can explain, it is not necessary for police to charge an at-fault driver in order for a victim or victim’s family to have a valid car accident lawsuit claim. There are two main reasons for this. The first is that some conduct is a violation of a traffic regulation but is not necessarily illegal in terms of criminal penalties.
For example, if a person runs a stop sign while they are sober, and are not engaged in any particular dangerous driving, such a street race, police can issue a citation for a moving violation. The driver alleged to be in violation of the stop sign ordinance can either admit liability and pay the fine associated with the ticket or deny running a stop sign and request a hearing. If driver is found responsible at a hearing or admits to liability by signing the ticket, he or she will have to pay a fine, and points may be administratively assessed on his or her license by the department of motor vehicles. He or she will not, however, be arrested and charged with a crime.
If driver ran a stop sign and crashed into another car, or caused another car to crash into driver, and victim was seriously injured or killed, driver would probably still get a moving violation, but would not be arrested, because this conduct is not criminal.
This does not mean driver is not negligent, and if he or she was negligent, victim could file a personal injury lawsuit.
The second reason police might not arrest a driver is because, even if conduct could be considered criminal, there may not be enough evidence to prove defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Fortunately, in a civil car accident lawsuit, it is not necessary to prove a case beyond a reasonable doubt to win a full and appropriate financial compensation.
Contact the Charlotte, North Carolina injury lawyers at the Lee Law Offices by calling 800-887-1965.
Bruce Jenner sued over fatal car accident , May 1, 2015, CNN
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Lemley v. Wilson – Liability in Roadside Work Crew Death Case, March 29, 2015, Charlotte Car Accident Lawyer Blog