Even with strict laws and harsh penalties, drunk driving continues to be a problem in the U.S. According to statistics, up to 3 in 10 road accident casualties involve alcohol or drugs. When someone dies because another party is driving while intoxicated, the drunk driver should be held responsible. If you lost someone you loved and cared about in a vehicular accident that involved drunk driving, you should call a wrongful death lawyer.
DUI Wrongful Death
By law, when a drunk driver kills someone he or she can be criminally prosecuted by the district attorney. It might also be possible to file a civil claim or lawsuit against the party. This would entitle you to financial compensation to cover the costs of any medical expenses, funeral costs, loss of income, pain, suffering, and more. By holding the drunk driver both legally and financially responsible, you can feel peace of mind in knowing justice was sought. While criminal charges and a civil claim cannot bring back your loved one, it can add closure to this situation.
What You Should Do After Losing a Loved One in a DUI Accident
Following the loss of a loved one to a careless drunk driver, you will likely be overwhelmed with emotions. As numb as you might feel, and as difficult as it might be to think clearly, it is important to take the necessary steps:
- Secure any evidence you think could be useful. This includes pictures of the scene, copies of medical and phone records and police reports, contact details of witness statements, and so forth. A lawyer might use this information to build a case.
- Do not speak with any insurance companies apart from your own. The liable party’s’ insurance company might contact you for an immediate settlement. It is advisable to avoid this conversation until you have spoke with a lawyer.
- Call a wrongful death lawyer. The sooner you get help from a respected wrongful death lawyer, the better the situation may be. Lawyers have access to monetary resources, reconstruction experts, expert witnesses, and more. Our firm works with these professionals to conduct an independent investigation; thereby, ensuring you get maximum compensation.
Considerations When Claiming Damages Related to a DUI Wrongful Death
Prior to making a settlement, your lawyer will need to determine who can pursue a wrongful death claim and what they may be entitled to. Typically a spouse, legal partner, child, or parent can file a claim. Damages will depend on factors such as:
- Whether the deceased provided financial support to the family. If so, the claimants may recover compensation that replaces a lifetime of income.
- Whether the family members have lost companionship, love, or care; also known as loss of consortium.
- Whether the deceased was given medical care or treatment following the DUI accident. If so, compensation for medical costs should be recoverable.
A lawyer will also likely seek funeral and burial costs and punitive damages. These are special damages that involve monetary recompense meant to punish the liable party for his or her deplorable actions.
Call a DUI Wrongful Death Lawyer Today to Get the Justice You Deserve
Losing someone because another person was driving while intoxicated can be upsetting and fuel a mix of emotions. Your life could be changed forever, and knowing that this could have been prevented might be devastating to think about. Our wrongful death lawyers know what you may be going through and want to help. We work on a contingency fee basis which means you pay nothing upfront, and only if we win. To find out what options are available, call a wrongful death lawyer today.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Johnston Martineau PLLP for their insight into wrongful death cases.