Miami-Dade Police Officer John Young Song caused a deadly car accident on March 6 at Southwest 260th Street and 147th Avenue at approximately 1:30 a.m. Officer Song was placed under arrest for the crash this November and has been charged with vehicular homicide. Reports indicate the officer was speeding, did not have his vehicle’s headlights or siren on, and failed to stop at a stop sign. Miami-Dade Police Spokesperson Lee Cowart said the officer was not responding to a call and was on a routine patrol at the time. Officer Song drove through the stop sign and collided with a white Nissan carrying Emilio Jesus Vizcaino, 45. Due to the various factors involving with the crash, the officer is accused of driving the police vehicle in manner that displayed a willful and wanton disregard for other people and property’s safety. On other words, the officer is accused of driving recklessly. Song will be arraigned for the criminal charges on December 13. However, he may face more than a criminal case. The Vizcaino family have the right to pursue compensation through a wrongful death claim.
If your loved one was recently killed in a car crash that you believe was caused by someone else, we recommend you call our Miami wrongful death lawyers at Gerson & Schwartz P.A. at (877) 475-2905. We will thoroughly review your circumstances and advise you of your right to file a wrongful death lawsuit. If you have a valid claim, we will work hard to obtain a fair settlement for you and your family.
A Wrongful Death Claim Is Separate From Criminal Charges
It is important for families to realize that a wrongful death lawsuit is a civil claim—separate from any related criminal charges. A wrongful death lawsuit is brought by a family or a person’s estate against the at-fault individual or business. This civil suit focuses on the at-fault party’s negligence, recklessness, or intentional misconduct, and it takes place within a civil courtroom. A criminal case is not brought by a family, but instead is filed by a prosecutor who works for a city, county, or state. The prosecutor seeks to prove the defendant broke a law, and the case take places within a criminal courtroom. If your loved one was killed in a car crash, there may or may not be criminal charges brought against the at-fault driver. That driver may be given a traffic ticket, for a minor traffic violation. The police may find evidence that the at-driver’s recklessness or intentional misconduct violated a criminal statute, such as vehicular assault or vehicular homicide. There may be no criminal consequences for the at-fault driver.
Whether or not a negligent driver is ticketed or charged with a traffic crime, your family may have the right to pursue a wrongful death claim. You should speak with one of our wrongful death attorneys for Miami as soon as possible.
Criminal and Civil Cases Have Different Standards of Proof
If the at-fault driver faces criminal charges, the prosecutor must prove that the driver committed a crime beyond a reasonable doubt. This is a very high standard. If a judge or jury has any doubts that the defendant is not guilty, then they are to acquit the defendant of the crime. There is a different, lower standard in civil cases. If your family pursues wrongful death compensation, you only need to prove the at-fault driver was negligent or reckless by a preponderance of the evidence. This standard means it is more likely than not that the other party was negligent or reckless.
Call Our Miami Wrongful Death Attorneys Today
After losing a loved one in a car crash, it can be difficult to know what to do. It is difficult to know whether you have a right to file a lawsuit or not, whether you can pursue an insurance claim or not. To learn about your legal rights after losing a parent, spouse, or child in a collision, call Gerson & Schwartz P.A. at (305) 371-6000.