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What would you do if your family member was responsible for another person's death?
If you or a loved one were involoved in a car accident that resulted in the death of another human being, should you or your family contact the family of the decedent to express your sympathies? What would be the appropriate way to do so?
This is such a good question. I would have to say that the right thing to do would be to contact the family and express your sympathy. It will not be easy for you to do so, but I believe it would be meaningful to the family to speak to you.
They may also want to ask questions about what happened and this would be a good time as well to share with them. If it was blatantly your fault the accident was caused, expressing sorrow and grief to them should be done.
If they do not want anything to do with you or speak to you, you made the effort to do so. This is an extremely hard thing to do but not saying anything would speak louder to them than anything during their grief.
Having been involved in a car accident in which my best friend from childhood was killed, it would have helped me (and the other friend in the car) if the DRIVER who killed my friend (by being drunk, speeding, and (from what I've heard) being angry at her boyfriend) had simply said to us (maybe at court when we saw her) that she was sorry. Hearing it from one of her family members wouldn't have helped. I had the sense that someone did something very stupid and wrong, and it was THAT person that I thought could have least shown a shred of remorse; and at least acted as if my friend had been a living, breathing, 20-year-old, young woman whose future had been wiped out and family, devastated. Her family was not to blame, and her family members were not she. We weren't looking for yet more kind words or apologizes from people who didn't need to apologize. We wanted, and need, to see that shred of remorse that would let us know this young woman at least had some concept of the gravity of what she'd done.
This person was fined $20 and lost her license for one year. That's what the court decided. As someone who, through a mishandled divorce that led to complications I won't go into, has lost my own driver's license over essentially a court order that left me living in my car and picking up my kids each day; and a cracked tail light (that still worked); I've not seen justice in Massachusetts courts, whether over the accident or the divorce/driver's license issue.
On top of it all, I never saw any acknowledgement that anyone involved in the accident-court-thing recognized my friend as anything more than "the deceased". Between that and the loss of my friend, itself; I really wouldn't have wanted to hear from the driver's family members. I just wanted to get on with dealing with my own injuries, getting used to life without my friend, and figuring out what the hell my future was going to be without her in it. At the time, I just wanted to be with my other friend who was in the accident with us, with my friend's family, and, of course, my own family.
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