People who cause harm or injury to others should not be surprised when they are held legally accountable for their actions. This is true even if the person thought responsible is hurt as well. A recent Wisconsin car accident that left one woman dead and another person injured illustrates this point.

According to reports, the man thought responsible for the accident was allegedly driving while drunk. He apparently disregarded a stop sign and slammed into another car as he went through an intersection. A passenger in the other car died, and the driver suffered injuries as a result of the collision. The man sustained severe head injuries. He is now staying in an assisted living facility.

His attorney claims that the man’s head injuries render him unable to participate in trial preparation. He says the man’s memory is faulty with no recollection of any of the accident’s details. Prosecutors have requested the attorney get a second opinion on the man’s mental condition.

If a Wisconsin court rules the man is incompetent, it could lead to dismissal of his charges. That could change, however, if his health and cognition gets better, and he regains better use of his faculties. If that occurs, the charges could be reinstated.

Even if criminal charges are not further pursued against the man, he could face civil action from the families of the people who were killed or injured in this car accident. A wrongful death and/or personal injury lawsuit in a Wisconsin courtroom may be an appropriate response from the people his actions affected. His current condition would have little relevance with respect to the issue of liability in that case.

Source: startribune.com, Attorney for man charged in fatal Wisconsin crash says client too injured to assist in defense, No author, Jan. 14, 2014