Proving Serious Crime in a Fatal Crash not Easy: New York Personal Injury Lawyer Kenneth A. Wilhelm Talks about How Outcome of Criminal Cases May Affect Civil Claims

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New York prosecutors are looking to prove criminal negligence in a hit-and-run crash that left a young couple dead and also killed their newborn son. According to a March 12 report in The New York Times, even as the driver in this case faces vehicular homicide charges, prosecutors may have a tough time proving that a serious crime was committed.

It is important for victims and their families to understand that they can seek relief from the civil justice system regardless of whether the at-fault driver has been found guilty, charged or cited

A March 12 report in The New York Times states that prosecutors will face a "nettlesome challenge" when it comes to proving criminal negligence in a fatal crash that killed a young Brooklyn couple and their just-born son. The driver, Julio Acevedo, was charged with traveling at a high rate of speed and striking the taxicab carrying the couple, the Times reports. The couple died at the scene while their son, who was delivered after the crash, died a day later, the article states. The report says that the challenge here is to persuade a jury that a driver's negligence rises to the level of a crime.

Vehicular crime cases in New York are usually based on a driver committing at least two traffic infractions, which prosecutors usually refer to as the "rule of two." However, speeding alone is often inadequate to establish criminality in accident cases, the Times article states. New York's Court of Appeals in its recent decision reversed the convictions of drivers who were found guilty of criminally negligent homicide in the death of their passengers, ruling that the drivers' actions did not rise to the level of "moral blameworthiness." Prosecutors say discussions of moral blame being injected into traffic accident cases raises the bar on proving guilt, according to the report.

"It is important for victims and their families to understand that they can seek relief from the civil justice system regardless of whether the at-fault driver has been found guilty, charged or cited," said New York personal injury lawyer Kenneth A. Wilhelm.

While criminal cases require juries to find the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, civil cases do not have anywhere near as strict of a requirement, Wilhelm explains. "In many traffic accident cases, a defendant may simply receive a traffic ticket or may face minor criminal charges. Very often, the civil justice system is the last and only resort for injured victims and their families to obtain justice and fair compensation for their losses."

About the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm

The Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm is a personal injury litigation firm with an unwavering dedication to its clients. With more than 41 years of experience, our firm strives to obtain the best compensation for those who have been injured or those who have lost a loved one due to an accident or by someone else's negligence. We handle cases dealing with personal injury, medical malpractice, wrongful death, workers' compensation, dental malpractice, motor vehicle accidents, rape, paralysis, comas, seizures, false arrest, lead poisoning, trips and slips and falls, elevator accidents, construction accidents, Erb's palsy, cerebral palsy, brain damage, blindness, hearing loss, dog bite cases, fire and smoke inhalation accidents, bicycle accidents, falls from windows or scaffolds, and many other types of accidents and injuries.

Please contact us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-WORK-4-YOU (1-800-967-5496). We can also help with personal injury cases in New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been seriously injured in any of the 50 U.S. states, please call us and we will try to help you with your case.

Other phone numbers for us are:

1-800-RADIO-LAW, 1-888-WYPADEK, OR 1-800-LAS-LEYES

Please visit us at:

The Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm
445 Park Ave, 9th Floor
New York, NY 10022
(212) 545-7373

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