If someone close to you has been become a victim of a serious trucker accident that resulted in a fatality, you’ve probably wondered what repercussions will the truck driver face. To explain further, the truck driver can face serious criminal charges and be held civil liable.
If you are a truck driver and were at fault in a wreck, which resulted in a fatality, it is likely vehicular manslaughter charges will be brought against you.
Vehicular manslaughter charges can be brought against a driver who unintentionally causes an accident that results in the death of a passenger, occupants of other vehicles, or even pedestrians.
Vehicular manslaughter charges are applicable when the driver is under the influence, driving recklessly, or driving in an illegal manner. It is important to note that falling asleep while driving can be deemed driving recklessly, which was the issue in this case.
Vehicular manslaughter is a serious charge that carries a penalty of 3 to 15 years in prison for each count in Georgia. The driver of the truck is facing up to a 25-year sentence. However, it is important to note that sentences vary vastly among states.
In Alabama, vehicular manslaughter carries a maximum sentence of 5 years. Also, many states mandate a more severe sentence for vehicular manslaughter cases that involve a DUI.
Here, a tractor- trailer driver was driving on Interstate 16 and slammed into the back of a car during stop-and-go traffic backed up by an unrelated wreck. The driver claimed that he had set the truck on cruise control for 68 mph. The car that was struck had 5 Georgia Southern University nursing students that all died at fault of the wreck.
The driver of the tractor-trailer revealed in depositions that Total Transportation, the company the driver worked for at the time of the wreck, hired the truck driver despite being fired previously for falling asleep at the wheel. Additionally, the driver acknowledged under oath that the wreck was his fault, but he insisted that he was awake when the wreck took place and did not fall asleep at the wheel. However, the truck driver stated that he doesn’t even remember crashing into the car.
The driver was charged with five counts of homicide by vehicle in the first degree. The indictment came only after four of the victims’ families settled wrongful death suits against Total Transportation. Furthermore, a second indictment was held to determine if Total Transportation was criminally liable under Georgia law. Under Georgia law, criminal charges can be brought against corporations. The basis of the criminal charge against Total Transportation would be negligence.
If you have been involved in a serious car accident that has resulted in a fatality please seek out advice from an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
Not only can you be liable in civil litigation, but also it is very likely that criminal charges will be filed against you. These charges can dramatically alter your life if you’re found guilty.
To ensure that a strong defense is made to protect your rights, consult with a skillful criminal defense attorney that will give you realistic and helpful advice.
If you are charged with a crime in Birmingham or anywhere in Alabama, contact Birmingham criminal defense lawyer, Joseph A. Ingram at (205) 335-2640.