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Motor vehicle accidents occur every day and much more often than most New York residents would like to admit. Many accidents result in serious car accident injuries and vast vehicle damage. When two or more vehicles are involved in a car accident, it is possible that fatalities will result, which then may spark wrongful death claims. Unfortunately, a serious car accident with fatalities happened in New York last year.

A 61-year-old man was driving over 85 mph in his truck when he rear-ended a vehicle in front of him. The impact of that crash caused the man’s truck to strike yet another vehicle. The drivers of both vehicles that were hit died due to injuries sustained in the crash.

The 61-year-old has recently pleaded guilty to his negligent actions that resulted in two deaths. He received five years of probation and must pay a fine of $5,000. Further, he will have to undergo an evaluation for drug and alcohol abuse and will be unable to be behind the wheel of a vehicle for a minimum of five years.

The families of the victims who died in this fatal car accident may be interested in learning of their legal rights to pursue wrongful death claims against the at-fault driver. Though the at-fault driver has been charged and sentenced from a criminal standpoint, the families can still pursue legal action through the New York civil court system. Wrongful death claims may award the victims’ families with monetary damages to help with their emotional and economic losses, such as loss of companionship, loss of future wages, hospital bills and end-of-life expenses.

Source: Wall Street Journal, Man gets probation, fine in fatal western NY crash, No author, Feb. 7, 2014