It is possible that you will face additional criminal charges or that the survivors of the other driver will file a wrongful death lawsuit naming you as a defendant after a fatal reckless driving accident. However, whether you will be convicted of another crime or held accountable in a civil lawsuit depends on whether the state or the survivors can prove their cases in court.
Aggravated Involuntary Manslaughter Charges and a Wrongful Death Case Are Possible
You will not necessarily face involuntary manslaughter charges or be named as a wrongful death defendant. However, if:
The Commonwealth of Virginia brings aggravated involuntary manslaughter charges then the prosecutors must prove that you were so gross, wanton, and culpable as to show a reckless disregard for human life. If the prosecutors are successful, then you face not less than one and not more than 20 years in prison.
The survivors bring a civil wrongful death case then they must prove that you owed the other driver a duty of care, that you breached the duty of care by failing to act like a reasonable person, that your breach of the duty of care caused the driver’s death, and that the survivors are legally entitled to damages. If the plaintiffs are successful in their claim, then you may owe them financial damages.
Don’t Forget About the Reckless Driving Charges Against You
You may not yet know if you face aggravated involuntary manslaughter charges or if you will face a civil wrongful death lawsuit. However, you do know that you have been charged with the crime of reckless driving and that you need to defend yourself against those charges because you face potential jail time and other significant penalties. For more information about how to defend yourself against reckless driving charges, please contact our experienced reckless driving criminal defense lawyers today for a free, no-obligation consultation about your rights.