You're asking about the criminal end, which is up to the state and not you. You may want to speak to the county DA to determine their plans, but you cannot prosecute a criminal case.
Whomever is her next of kin (usually her spouse and children, or if there are none, other close family members) need to see a lawyer, start a probate, and determine if a wrongful death civil case for damages should be filed. Damages in such cases sometimes can be large. Since time is running out (in a bit over a year you lose your right to sue forever) the family should have already retained an experienced personal injury lawyer and needs to do that immediately. If there has not been a probate, that also must be started immediately.
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There are two systems at play- criminal and civil. Civil is for money damages. Criminal is controlled by the State and is for prison and other sanctions. We can look at the civil case and investigate fault and cause. No one can "force" the State to investigate of pursue criminal charges. Our condolences for your loss.
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There are many reasons that law enforcement or the prosecutor did not seek criminal charges against the other driver, though that doesn't mean there are not grounds for criminal charges. If you truly believe there are factors that the police should but aren't considering, then don't stop trying to, legally, obtain and present that evidence to the police.
Your attorney can obtain a great deal of information through the civil legal process and if the other driver was doing something such as texting while driving, it can also be grounds for seeking punitive damages. Unfortunately, seeking money damages for being wronged is sometimes the sole source of punishment for a wrong.
If you do not have an attorney pursuing the civil claims against the other driver, you should at least consult with a personal injury/wrongful death attorney.
Sidney Weinstein, Accident Injury Attorney
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I agree with the other answers. You or the representative of your sister's estate needs to talk to an attorney who specializes in personal injury. You can call for a free consultation.
You, or whomever is your brother's legal heir, should speak personally with a personal injury/wrongful death atty. before doing anything else.
Law Office of Robert G. Rothstein (Atlanta)
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I'll echo everyone else who empathizes with your loss. You can start by getting the crash report from buycrash.com to see how the police characterized the incident. You should also contact an attorney who handles both auto cases and is skilled in handling wrongful death suits. That attorney should be able to get many other documents that various authorities are required to prepare in these situations. The attorney can then help you navigate next steps to take, including ensuring the proper steps are taken to establish the correct legal parties to file suit if that is what you both decide is appropriate. I wish you and your family healing. Contact an attorney as it may bring you closure if nothing else.
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I am sorry to hear about this tragic situation. Possibly a wrongful death claim can be pursued against the adverse driver or, if the adverse driver was not insured, the claim could be pursued against any uninsured motorist coverage that may be available. The facts and coverage issues should be reviewed by a personal injury attorney.
Do not give any statement to the adverse party or insurance company nor grant them access to any medical records. Photograph the injuries and the damage done to any property. Contact a personal injury attorney in your area as soon as possible so that you can protect your rights. You may also find it helpful to review the Legal Guides I have published on Avvo.com dealing with many of the issues you are now facing. You can access my Legal Guides through my profile page.
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Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.
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In most states, an accident reconstruction is required for all fatalities resulting from a car accident. See if this is the case in your state and request their report. Another option is hiring a local car accident attorney to investigate the matter and possibly file suit in which case the records could be subpoenaed. That attorney can also hire a reconstructionist. I would call a local lawyer asap. Time is always of the essence to investigate a car accident fatality and preserve evidence.
Offline, I would want to know what the disposition is/was of traffic court. I would also want to see the police report. I suggest either call one of the attorneys below or myself. From a personal standpoint, I am so sorry for your loss. I don't know what feels like & I wish you a speedy spiritual & emotional recovery & grounding. I am at (404) 303-8875 if you ever just want to talk. Otherwise, best wishes.
Sam Levine, Esq.
How? Because an accident isn't a crime. It's a lawsuit. If it was an accident, there is no crime.
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