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Dueling lawsuits filed over 2012 fatal bridge crash

Determining liability in a car accident can be more difficult than it might appear on the surface. In one case out of Natchez, Mississippi, a man and his two children suffered serious injuries when their car was hit head-on by an SUV that had been traveling in the opposite lane of traffic. The SUV changed lanes into the path of the family's car; in the resulting collision, the man and his children were injured. The driver of the SUV was killed in the collision.

The man who was in the car now has a lawsuit pending against the estate of the SUV driver, among other parties. He says that he and his children continue to suffer medical maladies as a result of the crash.

The husband of the woman who was driving the SUV also has a suit pending over his wife's wrongful death. The bridge on which the accident took place was holding a 5K run at the time; officers from both the Mississippi and Louisiana sides of the Mississippi River were supposed to be directing both directions of traffic -- which normally ran on opposite sides of the bridge -- onto the eastbound lanes only, with the 5K run on the westbound side.

The lawsuit says that the re-routing was not clearly marked, leading to his wife mistakenly going into the incorrect lane. The suit names several parties, including both Louisiana and Mississippi and their respective transportation departments. It remains to be seen how these suits will play out, but it serves as a good reminder that there are multiple sides to every accident story.

Source: Natchez Democrat, "Lawsuit filed against City of Vidalia, Natchez on bridge wreck," Rod Guajardo, Dec. 19, 2013

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