It is not uncommon for the surviving family members of those killed in Oklahoma motor vehicle accidents to seek full accountability from any party deemed responsible. In most fatal motor vehicle accidents, legal grounds exist for civil claims against one or more parties. However, when the allegedly negligent driver flees the accident scene, the legal process may be slowed down pending further investigation.
After the death of a utility worker in a Shawnee accident recently, the driver of a flatbed truck left the scene of the accident. According to a police report, a tip led them to the vehicle. That helped them to identify the driver. Authorities then attempted to speak to a 17-year-old suspect. After talking to his father and grandfather, they were assured that the teenager would report to the police station.
The boy never came to the station, and police learned that he had retained an attorney. As the investigation proceeded, the teenager was arrested and was placed in a juvenile detention center. He will now be facing charges of vehicular homicide and leaving a fatal accident scene.
When Oklahoma workers are killed in fatal motor vehicle accidents that were caused by third parties not connected to their employers, their loved ones may pursue wrongful death claims in a civil court. This route may provide more financial relief than they would receive from workers’ compensation death benefits (to which they may also be entitled). In this case, the accused driver along with the registered owner of the flatbed truck may be named as defendants in a civil lawsuit for recovery of financial and emotional damages sustained.