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This law of accidental murder (Deut. 19:1-13; Num. 35:10-34) is sometimes applied to argue that we need laws against negligence in Christian civilization today.  This is only so indirectly. Exo. 21:28-36 prescribes rules for compensation in the case of negligence.  In this law, however, the man who flees to the city of refuge is not told to pay any amount to the widow.  We definitely do need laws against negligence, but they cannot be grounded solely in Exo. 21:13.  Although legislation against negligence cannot be grounded here, certainly this law reinforces such legislation. We find here a general doctrine of carefulness with human life.  As the slayer has been careless, so now he must be very, very careful with his own life (cf. Matt. 5:21-26).

- James Jordan, The Law of the Covenant 102 (1984), at http://www.garynorth.com/freebooks/: HTML, DjVu.