A 57 year-old man was tragically killed in Keller while he was crossing the street with a wheelbarrow full of sod last week. According to a report by the Star-Telegram, the man was on the job landscaping the Evergreen Senior Living Apartments on Apeldoorn Lane near Johnson Road Park. Evidently the truck was backing up when it struck the man, knocking him backward and onto his head.
The landscaper was immediately rushed to John Peter Smith Hospital, where he underwent surgery in an attempt to save his life. Unfortunately, the man never recovered from his injuries and died the next day. Police have stated that the truck driver would not face any criminal charges for his role in the fatal truck accident.
The Distinction Between Criminal and Civil Cases
As the article noted, the truck driver who hit and killed the man will not be facing any criminal charges. However, that does not mean that the truck driver will be free from responsibility.
The Texas civil and criminal justice systems are two totally different systems, with different procedures, rules of evidence, and burdens of proof. For example, in a criminal case, the prosecution must determine that the defendant committed the acts beyond a reasonable doubt. This is a very high standard that can be extremely difficult to meet in most motor vehicle accident cases.
However, in civil cases, the burden of proof placed on the plaintiff is only to prove his case by a preponderance of the evidence. While there is no exact formula for the phrase, it has generally been understood to mean “more likely than not.”
Civil Cases Can Be Brought Even When Criminal Charges Are Not
The difference in the burdens of proof between the two kinds of cases means that in some situations only civil penalties will be implemented. In these cases, the defendant will be held liable to the plaintiff in a civil court.
While it is helpful for a civil plaintiff to point to a criminal conviction to help determine civil liability, a criminal conviction is not a prerequisite for recovery in any civil action.
Have You Been Injured by a Texas Truck Driver?
If you or a loved one has been injured by a Texas truck driver, you should speak to an experienced Texas truck accident attorney as soon as possible. Even if the other driver did not face criminal charges, you may still be entitled to recover from the driver for your injuries and pain and suffering. The Law Offices of William K. Berenson have been assisting injured Texans recover for over the past 34 years. With a dedicated team of personal injury attorneys on staff, the firm has the know-how and the resources to recover for you. Click here, or call 817-885-5000 to schedule your free initial consultation today.
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