Are Criminal Charges Needed In Order To Sue?

A year after a deadly boat accident, the state attorney’s office has finally decided that the boat driver will not be criminally charged, but the family of the victim is still pursuing their lawsuit against him. This situation leaves many wondering: are criminal charges needed in order to sue someone for negligence or a wrongful death?

What Happened?

Back in May of 2014, a boat party was stranded on a sandbar in Biscayne Bay when the tide washed out. Several of the partygoers immediately jumped out to help dislodge the boat, but one of those Good Samaritans was killed by the boat’s spinning propellers. That young man’s family has filed a negligence case against the boat driver, who authorities have refused to criminally charge.

The boat driver, a famous South Florida DJ, was hosting a party sponsored by a vodka company when tragedy struck, and the victim’s family claims that he had a responsibility to keep his guests safe while out to sea. Though not a criminal issue, this responsibility can be considered a civil issue.

Can The Family Sue?

Similar claims have been made in situations where children were injured or passengers were hurt on a cruise. It is not far-fetched to believe that the driver of a boat could also be held responsible if someone is injured or killed while they were operating a vessel. No matter how unique the circumstances, the best thing to do when faced with a personal injury or wrongful death situation is to contact a lawyer immediately and stay informed of your rights.

Colson Hicks Eidson — Personal Injury Attorneys



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