Abstract ambulance in an accident at nighttimeIn many cases throughout history, people in motor vehicles have made a split decision to try and beat a red light, which never ends well. In fact, these accidents are to blame for the deaths of more than 800 people as well as an outstanding 200,000 injuries in the U.S. every year. Many of the people injured in these unique accidents are pedestrians or occupants of other vehicles. Ed Rust Jr., chairman of State Farm Insurance, has stated, “Red light running is more than just a form of aggressive driving. People are dying and getting hurt needlessly because of it.”

Running a Red Light: Vehicular Manslaughter? 

If you were a driver who unintentionally caused an accident and it lead to the death of passengers, occupants, or pedestrians, you may be charged with something known as vehicular manslaughter. Many of these cases each year are the direct result of drugs or alcohol, but many more stem from driving recklessly. When you choose to drive through a red light, this could be seen as reckless driving and could lead to vehicular manslaughter charges. In many states, the prosecution must show that you were acting negligently when the accident took place. Were you failing to pay attention because you took your eyes off the road to read a text message? This could be seen as negligent.

How You May be Penalized 

The penalties for vehicular manslaughter will really depend upon your case as well as the state in which you reside. You could spend several years in prison as well as extensive fines. You may be able to use a defense to your charges, depending on the circumstances. For instance, let’s say that you were supposedly driving drunk at the time of the accident but the evidence was obtained as a violation of your constitutional rights. Because of this, it may be excluded from trial. The best thing that you can do during your time of need is speak to an attorney that has experience with these cases. We are waiting to hear from you at The Law Office of Peter Blair.