When a motorist negligently causes an accident that leads to the death or injury of another person, that motorist can be held legally responsible for the accident. The most common way of holding a motorist legally responsible for causing an accident is to bring a civil lawsuit. If the car accident only resulted in injuries to a person, the lawsuit would be referred to as a personal injury lawsuit. If the car accident caused a person's death, the lawsuit would be referred to as a wrongful death lawsuit.
These two types of lawsuits are very similar in practice. In order to win in a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit, the injured person (or his survivors) would need to show that the driver was negligent. Negligence can be established in a variety of ways, including showing inattentive driving or failure to keep an eye on the road. An additional way of showing negligence is possible when a driver violated a traffic law and caused the accident. This type of negligence is known as "negligence per se" in legal jargon.
A recent tragic accident demonstrates how violating a traffic law can lead to a serious car accident. Last night, a 71-year-old woman was killed and her husband was injured as they were making a left turn. According to law enforcement authorities, a 29-year-old Baltimore man ran a red light and hit the passenger side of the couple's 2004 Audi.
The woman was rushed to Anne Arundel Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead. Her husband was rushed to Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, where he remains in serious but stable condition.
Source: HometownAnnapolis.com, "Woman, 71, dies in 3-car accident," 7/6/2011