On Tuesday, December 6th, 16 year-old Courtney Paulic of Casa Grande was killed in a rollover accident in Eloy. The accident occurred near 10pm. Paulic was a passenger in a pickup truck and was ejected from the vehicle during the accident. She died at the scene.
Two men and a woman were also injured in the accident and transported to Phoenix hospitals for treatment. All of the injured persons are 18 years old.
One of the injured men was the driving the truck when the accident occurred. He told officers from the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office that he lost control of the truck when he tried to avoid an object in the road. The deputies found evidence of alcohol use and drug paraphernalia in the vehicle. Charges may be forthcoming.
If the driver is found responsible for the accident, he could be liable Paulic’s death. The girl’s family may sue the driver for wrongful death. A wrongful death claim may be brought by the survivors of someone who has died due to another person’s negligence. If the girl’s parents sue for wrongful death, they will request the damages that their daughter would have been able to collect from the driver for negligence if she had survived the accident. Arizona Revised Statutes §§ 12-611 – 12-613 govern wrongful death lawsuits.
The driver may be liable for his passengers’ injuries. This could include their medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If any of the passengers were somewhat responsible for their injuries, the amount they could collect from the driver would be reduced. The principle that applies to assessing liability when multiple people are responsible for a person’s injuries is called pure comparative negligence. In these situations, a judge or jury decides how much each party is at fault for the injured person’s damages and apportions the damage award accordingly.