On October 7, 2011, Buffalonews.com reported a three car accident that killed 51 year old Cheryl Ozzimo and her husband, 58 year old Ronald Ozzimo. This tragic incident raises several legal issues. A wrongful death action also includes a personal injury. The personal injury is the underlying theory for the culpability of the defendant. Damages in a wrongful death action is the financial loss to the survivors of the decedent. The time between injury and death including pain, medical treatment, loss of work are brought as a separated personal injury action, they are not covered by the wrongful death cause of action. All damages after death (future wages, services to spouse, etc.) are included as financial losses to the survivors. The statute of limitations for wrongful death is two years.
Last week, the Buffalo News reported that a 29-year old driver with 2 prior convictions for DWAI has been charged with DWI in connection with his arrest for driving the wrong way down the Thruway. The question in everyone’s mind is: “if this is his third offense, why wasn’t he charged with a felony?” The defendant is being charged with a misdemeanor, which is considered a crime and is punishable by up to one year in jail, but he won’t be charged with a felony. Here’s why:
The Buffalo News reported on October 2nd that investigators are still on the look out for a driver that hit and killed a woman on Broadway and didn’t stick around to fess up.
Leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident with out reporting it may result in serious fines and penalties, including criminal prosecution. When an accident leaves someone dead, the operator of the responsible vehicle may face criminal charges that can increase if drugs or alcohol were involved. These accidents may also result in civil suits by the estate of the person who was killed. These suits can include claims for personal injuries as well as wrongful death.