Jenner likely to face civil, not criminal charges for accident

Fatal Motor Vehicle Accidents,Our Blog | February 23, 2015

Bruce Jenner, who is perhaps more famous for being their former patriarch of the Kardiashian clan than winning the gold at the 1976 Olympics, was involved in a fatal car accident earlier this month and could face some major consequences as a result.

We reported in a past post on our blog that the chain-reaction accident took place on the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu around noon February 7 when Jenner rear-ended a Lexus and caused it to jolt into oncoming traffic.

But in the weeks after the accident, new details have emerged thanks to video footage that was captured by a nearby MTA bus and a gas station surveillance camera. It turns out that Jenner had actually steered to avoid traffic that had slowed in front of him and ran into the back of a Prius, which then hit the Lexus.

The Lexus was then propelled into the intersection, where it was hit by an oncoming vehicle head on. The 69-year-old driver of the vehicle was killed.

Now that more facts are known about the incident, many experts are saying that is it unlikely that Jenner will face criminal charges for his role in the accident, but he can expect to be served with a civil lawsuit for wrongful death.

Fox News reported that an LAPD homicide detective said manslaughter charges against Jenner would be “a stretch” as prosecutors would have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Jenner was negligent by violating the vehicle code.

However, in a civil case for wrongful death, the plaintiffs could only have to prove that it was more likely than not that Jenner was negligent since the standard of proof is lower. That’s why it’s often able to hold people accountable in civil lawsuit even when criminal charges are not successful.

We will discuss more about criminal versus civil liability in our next post so stayed tuned.