A fatal accident out of North Carolina this month may have some of our South Carolina readers questioning if complicated civil litigation could play a part in the days to come. According to police, a 19-year-old resident of Clover fell asleep while driving just after having completed a Black Friday shopping trip with four other people. This resulted in a serious accident that injured the four passengers and killed the 19-year-old driver. But while it’s true that this could constitute as negligent behavior on the part of the driver, other factors in the case could point to further negligence on the part of the teen’s passengers as well.
That’s because, according to a trooper with the North Carolina Highway Patrol, one of the passengers told authorities that the teen had mentioned that he was tired just prior to the accident. There is a possibility that the occupants of the car knew this information prior to the teen even getting behind the wheel. It could be argued then that the occupants knew of the danger a fatigued driver presented but proceeded to let the teen drive anyway.
Allowing a fatigued driver to operate a motor vehicle can be considered just as negligent. This is something that could be argued in a personal injury complaint, though it’s unknown at this time if any of the occupants or the teen’s family will chose to take legal action in this case. If anyone involved in this fatal accident does decide to file a civil lawsuit, litigation could become incredibly complicated, especially when determining negligence and who was really at fault in this crash.
Source: WCNC News, “Teen killed in car accident after Black Friday shopping,” Nov. 30, 2013