A wrongful death civil claim is not limited to fatal car accidents. In Massachusetts, this type of legal proceeding is appropriate whenever someone negligently or intentionally causes or contributes to the death of another individual. A fatal accident involving two dirt bikes has resulted in criminal charges in Plymouth.
The tragedy occurred last December. A man from Randolph, said to be 40 years old, was operating a dirt bike when he collided head on with a dirt bike operated by a 14-year-old local boy. The teenager, a student at Plymouth North High School, lost his life in the crash. Moreover, the older man apparently left the boy to fend for himself.
Environmental police subsequently charged the man with leaving the scene of an accident. Any conviction on the Massachusetts misdemeanor charge carries with it a financial penalty not to exceed $1,000. Moreover, the man’s dirt bike could be seized, and he could also face the loss of his license for a year. Formally accused of fleeing the scene of an accident involving recreational vehicles that resulted in personal injury, the case will now proceed through the state’s criminal court system.
Apart from any criminal proceedings, the teen’s family has other legal options as a result of the fatal accident. Should they choose to do so, the surviving family members could institute a wrongful death lawsuit against the accused man. To prevail, it will be necessary to prove the man negligently caused or contributed to the boy’s death. While nothing can atone for the loss of a life, any monetary damages a successfully navigated claim may bring could at least help the family with the financial aspects of the seemingly senseless tragedy.
Source: patriotledger.com, “Randolph man charged in fatal dirt bike crash in Plymouth,” April 30, 2013