A head-on collision is one of the deadliest types of car accidents. Tragically, this was shown to be true in a recent crash just west of Bozeman that killed two drivers.
The fatal car accident happened at about 10:50 p.m. on a recent Sunday night. A 54-year-old man from West Yellowstone was driving west on Highway 84 in a Mercedes. For some reason he failed to make a right-hand curve in the road. He crossed into the opposite lane, where he collided head-on with a Subaru Legacy driven by a 24-year-old Big Sky woman. Both drivers were killed. There were no passengers in either vehicle.
The Montana Highway Patrol is conducting an accident investigation. At this time it is unknown whether alcohol or excessive speed contributed to this tragedy.
All drivers have a duty to control their vehicles and stay within their lanes. When a driver violates this duty, it constitutes negligence. Negligence is a legal term which means a failure to act with reasonable care under the circumstances.
When a person is killed by a negligent driver, their survivors have the right to bring a wrongful death lawsuit against that driver. If the negligent driver also died in the crash, their estate can be named as a defendant. The insurance company of the at-fault driver will be obligated to pay all damages, up to the policy’s liability limits. Damages can be recovered for medical expenses, funeral expenses, loss of support and loss of companionship. Of course, no amount of money can compensate a family for the tragic death of a loved one in auto accident. But a wrongful death lawsuit can ease financial worries arising out of the death, and can give a grieving family a sense of justice being done.
Source: Billings Gazette, “2 killed in crash west of Bozeman,” Chris Cioffi, Oct. 7, 2013.