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Fatal Accident Raises Many Legal Issues


A two vehicle fatal accident in Lafayette raises many complex legal issues.  The accident, which left two dead including a pregnant mother, resulted from a failed passing maneuver and involved drunk driving.

According to investigators, Charles Moter, 58, of Duson was driving north on LA Highway 343. Another car driven by Nathaniel Malone, 31, was traveling south on LA Highway 343 approaching Moter.  As Moter attempted to pass another vehicle heading north, he came close to hitting Malone's vehicle.  In an attempt to avoid a crash, Malone steered to the left, but the front of Moter's vehicle struck the right side of Malone's.  

Malone was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash. He was transported to a local hospital with non life threatening injuries.  Malone's front seat passenger Joe Wise, 33, and his left rear passenger, Cassie Kilby, 14, were not wearing seatbelts and died as a result of their injuries. The right rear passenger, Kaylin Flyte, 16, was wearing a seatbelt but was pronounced dead at the scene.  Flyte was pregnant at the time of the crash, the unborn fetus was also pronounced dead by the Lafayette Parish Coroner.  

Moter was found to be intoxicated by alcohol when the crash occurred and was arrested.   After he was released from the hospital he was booked into the Lafayette Parish Correctional Center for 3 counts of vehicular homicide, 3rd degree feticide, negligent injuring, driving left of center and reckless operation.

Obviously, the passing motorist is negligent for causing the impact in the oncoming lane of traffic.  That negligence and his legal responsibility is compounded by his intoxication.  Under Louisiana law, a person injured by the negligence of an intoxicated or drunk driver may recover punitive damages from that driver and his insurance company.  Punitive damages are designed to punish the drunk driver and discourage future drunk driving.  Moreover, punitive damages are recoverable over and above compensatory damages.  Compensatory damages include lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering, disability  and other losses suffered by an injured person.  In this circumstance, every person injured by the negligent of the drunk driver may recover both compensatory damages.  But what about the unborn child?

This presents a more complicated question without a clear answer.  For reasons that are involved and beyond the scope of a blog entry, Louisiana law recognizes a parents right to recover for their damages suffered due to the wrongful death of their unborn child but does not clearly recognize the right to recovery for the unborn child's own pain and suffering.  This dichotomy does not stand on firm legal ground so it is the job of a capable injury attorney to advance such a claim and challenge the current status of the law.  Cases like this with complex and challenging legal issues require the services of a proven injury attorney.  These difficult cases necessitate that you hire an attorney with the skill, knowledge, resources and determination to push your case to the Supreme Court if necessary.

The proven injury attorneys at Fisher Injury Lawyers have over 25 years experience representing good people inured in accidents.  Our staff includes top trained and educated lawyers, a lawyer/engineer, an in house consulting engineer, paralegals and medical clerks.  We have recovered over $40,000,000.00 on behalf of our clients giving us the experience and resources to take on eventhe most difficult cases.  We have gone toe to toe with the top defense firms, the State and Federal government, the police and any other defendant that has stood between our clients and justice.  We will do the same for you.  Call us anytime.




Bryan Fisher Proven Injury Lawyer

Bryan Fisher Proven Accident Attorney