In the time it takes for someone to snap his or her fingers, life could change forever. Car accidents only take seconds to happen, but the effects could last a lifetime, if not for the people involved, then for their surviving family members. One miscalculation, misstep or mistake behind the wheel could end in death or serious injury.

The question Minnesota State Patrol may be asking in the aftermath of a recent accident is what mistake a driver made that led to the crash. The 35-year-old driver headed eastbound on Highway 14 on a Tuesday afternoon. At the same time, a 23-year-old driver traveled westbound on the same roadway.

For an as yet unknown reason, the eastbound vehicle veered into the oncoming lane of travel and slammed head-on into the other vehicle and its unsuspecting driver. While the wrong-way driver managed to survive the crash with injuries not considered life-threatening, the other driver was not so lucky. He didn’t leave the scene of the accident alive. At last report, it was unknown whether the wrong-way driver will face charges in connection with the accident and the death of the other driver.

Even if no criminal charges are filed, the family of the victim may still exercise its right to file a wrongful death claim against the other driver involved. Providing evidence that the wrong-way driver made a mistake behind the wheel could help prove to a Minnesota civil court that driver’s negligence led to the death of their loved one. If that happens, surviving family members may receive the restitution they need to make up for the financial losses associated with the crash.