Local News

Wake County Changes Policy Involving Liability

Posted October 6, 2003 6:12 a.m. EDT

— Wake County has changed its laws when it comes to liability after a car accident took the life of a sheriff's deputy and injured a Garner teenager.

Wake County Sheriff Deputy Frank James died last month when he lost control of his patrol car. He crashed into a car driven by Jessica Anderson.

Even though the deputy was responsible, according to law, the county was not required to pay for her car that was totaled or medical bills, but that changed Monday. County commissioners proposed to change its laws when it comes to liability.

"I'm glad that they passed it. It will be good for helping everyone in the future that maybe their family does not have insurance," said Jessica Anderson, who attended the meeting.

Anderson's medical bills had been covered by her father's insurance company. However, county commissioners agreed to foot her medical bills.

"It's not just for us. It's for everybody. It's benefited a lot of people today," said Linda Anderson, Jessica's mother. "I'm just sorry it took so long for it to happen. I'm sorry that it took a situation like this for it to happen, but we are happy."

Wake County commissioners plan to set up a review process to look at claims on a case-by-case basis. Plus, Jessica Anderson said the Wake County Sheriff's Office, along with two car dealerships, have chipped in to buy her a new vehicle.