Last month, a serious car accident occurred in Douglass Township that left one man dead after the car he was riding in ended up upside-down in a creek. The car wasn't found until 11 hours after the accident, during which time the 21-year-old passenger drowned. The driver survived the crash with minimal injuries, but police reported his blood alcohol level was 0.12 percent nearly 12 hours after the crash.
The driver, 23, was recently charged in connection with the drunk driving accident. He now faces a slew of charges that include homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence, driving under the influence of alcohol or controlled substance, accidents involving personal injury or death while not properly licensed, reckless driving and careless driving. While criminal charges will certainly serve some amount of justice, they can never bring back the young man who perished in the crash.
This tragic accident illustrates all too clearly the dangers of drinking and driving. The consequences are far-reaching when friends and family members are left to mourn the sudden and unexpected loss of a loved one. In times like this, family members of a victim may feel anger alongside their sadness, perhaps wishing they could hold the person who caused the fatal accident accountable even further. In such cases a wrongful death lawsuit may be appropriate.
While seeking monetary damages after a loved one's death may seem insensitive or inappropriate, the tragedy of losing a family member should not be further aggravated by financial hardship that can stem from funeral costs and other related expenses. Some families may also find that a successful wrongful death lawsuit helps them feel as though the negligent driver has been held fully accountable.
Source: 69 News, "Driver charged in deadly crash involving upside-down car in creek," May 25, 2012