Drivers nationwide, including in Missouri, are responsible for the safety of their passengers. However, not all drivers know that they can be held financially liable for any harm that comes to those riding in their vehicles. Many passengers die in single-vehicle car accidents in which the drivers fail to maintain control. One such crash occurred in Dent County on a recent Saturday evening.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol prepared an accident report that shows the fatal accident occurred shortly after 10 p.m. on Highway O, just to the west of Anutt. A 51-year-old Salem driver apparently lost control of the SUV she was driving and went off the roadway’s right side. The vehicle reportedly rolled over after striking a wooden post.

The driver suffered serious injuries, and an ambulance took her to the hospital. No news about her condition was released. Her 59-year-old passenger — also a Salem resident — was less fortunate than the driver was because he suffered fatal injuries and died at the accident scene. Authorities said the driver wore her safety belt, but the passenger did not. The reason for the driver’s failure to control the vehicle is yet to be determined during an accident investigation.

Whenever people die in car accidents on Missouri roads, the surviving family members may pursue financial relief. The family of the man who passed away in this crash may file a wrongful death claim in a civil court. However, family members must establish negligence on the part of the driver before the court will adjudicate their documented claims. The entry of a monetary judgment typically follows the adjudication process.

Source: ozarksfirst.com, “Single Vehicle Accident Leaves One Dead“, Nov. 6, 2016