A man who survived a fatal car accident in Pierce County says that his unsecured dogs contributed to the collision that took the life of his passenger.
According to Q13Fox.com, the deadly crash took place on July 22nd on State Route 7 near Eatonville. A man and his passenger were driving on SR 7 with their three dogs in the backseat when the man suddenly lost control of the vehicle and exited the roadway. The vehicle struck a tree and that impact resulted in fatal injuries to the passenger, who was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the collision.
The driver told reporters that one the couple’s dogs got startled by something and jumped into the driver’s lap in the front of the vehicle, causing him to lose control and leave the roadway.
Officials with Washington State Patrol have determined that alcohol or drugs did not play a role in causing the crash, and their investigation is ongoing.
Pet Distraction And Liability For Fatal Accidents
Distracted driving is a very real problem in Washington state that contributes to the thousands of serious injuries and deaths that result from motor vehicle accidents every year.
Although this could potentially be considered a form of driver distraction, it is unlikely that a driver would face any criminal charges for an incident such as this. Fortunately, it does not appear that police are interested in pursuing any criminal charges for this tragic accident.
Distraction can be considered a form of negligence, though it is ultimately up to a jury to determine if a driver can be held financially responsible after an accident that results in another person suffering serious injury.
Questions About Your Car Accident? Free Case Review
Navigating the personal injury claims process can be complicated for those with a limited understanding about the legal process and how to protect their interests.
If you have questions about liability after an accident, it is usually in your best interests to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney to learn more about your legal rights and options. Call our office in Seattle at (206) 727-4000 to speak with our award-winning legal team about your case.