Another Death on I-95


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According to the South Carolina Highway Patrol a 1999 Ford Expedition was traveling south on I-95, when the driver fell asleep and ran off the right side of the road, overcorrected and caused the Expedition to overturn. The driver Jonathan Andrez-Gonzalez, 20, of Charleston fled the scene of the wreck, but was arrested four hours later by the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office K-9 unit. Andrez-Gonzalez was located in a wooded area near the scene of the accident. The passenger in the Expedition was pronounced dead at the scene and was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash. Beaufort County sheriff's deputies brought in dogs to track the suspect down in woods near Coosawhatchie. Jasper County Coroner Martin Sauls says Ernesto Santiz Lopez died at Coastal Carolina Hospital about an hour after the wreck on Interstate 95. According to higway patrol, nine people were in the sports utility vehicle when the driver fell asleep and crashed. Andrez-Gonzalez was being held at the Jasper County jail. Authorities have charged Andrez-Gonzalez with leaving the scene involving a death, driving too fast for conditions and driving without a South Carolina driver's license. This accident remains under investigation with the South Carolina Highway Patrol.

SC Wrongful Death Lawyer

The reports do not offer sufficient information to understand the liability involved in this unfortunate car accident. The first apparent implication is wrongful death. Since the driver's actions seem to have cause the death of the victim, the family may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit. This is different from the pending criminal charges in that is is a civil suit seeking financial compensation for future lost wages and expense related to the death, like hospital charges and funeral expenses. The intent of wrongful death lawsuit is help the family of the victim recover from the financial implication of the death. It is also designed to further punish the negligent party. The primary punishment is the prospect of going to jail. We saw recently in Charleston where that was not the case when a bicyclist was killed by a careless driver and only charge $113 fine for a minor criminal charge. Image the pain the family of that victim must have felt when the person responsible for the death of their loved one is not punished.

Charleston Personal Injury

The report states there were 9 people in the SUV when it crashed, but only mentions one death. Assuming other passengers were injury, they would be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver. Since the accused did not have a drivers' license, we might expect he was driving without insurance. If that is the case, an experienced Charleston Personal Injury lawyer would have to review all the specifics of the case to determine if the the case is worth pursuing. Negligence would first need to be determined, then if a viable party who could pay the settlement or verdict exists. Sounds callus, but a good personal injury attorney must always determining the likelihood of success before investing there own time and money into a lawsuit.

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Clore Law Group welcomes your questions about any issues concerning a serious personal injury, car accident, medical malpractice, nursing home neglect, or business tort. If you have a viable claim, we’ll explain the legal process. Since consultations are always free, there’s no cost in learning your legal options.