A car accident in the Memphis, Tennessee area gained national attention after it appeared that the driver may have been attempting to commit suicide with her children in the vehicle.
Driver could have intentionally caused an accident with her kids in the car as a suicide attempt
The incident happened on Interstate 240 on a Friday morning near the town of Perkins. The car flipped, resulting in one adult and two children being taken to a local hospital. The stretch of the highway where the accident occurred was crowded with ambulances and police vehicles in the moments afterward. The victim’s car was shown overturned on the news footage.
An investigation revealed that she had made a post on facebook in the hours before the crash saying goodbye to everyone. The video of the woman with her children in the car received over one million views. There are two children clearly visible in the vehicle with her. One is in her arms and the other is in the passenger seat. Memphis Police are not going to release the name of the woman or other details while the investigation is ongoing.
A later post from the same woman appeared hours later and said that she dropped her phone and accidentally caused the crash. She added that her children were in stable condition and apologized for the situation. The news believes that the woman was from northern Mississippi and she was having issues with her boyfriend that may have caused her erratic behavior.
A local doctor who works youth services said that current conditions with the pandemic and anxiety are serious triggers for people with mental illness. He recommended that anyone who is feeling suicidal or extremely stressed get professional help.
Lawsuits against a driver from passengers in the same car
If a driver intentionally or negligently causes a crash, passengers in the same vehicle can potentially sue them. Tort law allows for civil cases to be brought whether someone commits an intentional act such as assault, or whether they make a mistake through reckless or negligent behavior.
This scenario does happen sometimes in cases involving drunk driving or other reckless behavior by a driver. These lawsuits can be brought even if the state brings criminal charges against the person, as the civil and criminal cases will be treated independently.
Do mental health issues excuse civil liability?
Most legal standards are objective and they do not change regardless of the person being sued or charged criminally. The law tends to try to treat everyone equally. However, mental health issues related to capacity to understand legal proceedings or the terms of an agreement do bring up some complex issues that should be discussed with a lawyer.
Local accident lawyers in Tennessee
There are attorneys who help people throughout the state with lawsuits and other problems related to motor vehicle accidents. To find out more, contact:
7104 Peach Court, Brentwood TN 37027