Driving is a dangerous activity in itself but when you throw impaired drivers into the mix, traversing the roads becomes that much more dangerous. Drunk drivers are not fully aware of what is going on due to a diminished mental state. Someone who is drunk behind the wheel of a car does not have the capacity to operate a car with the accepted standard of care.
In Mercer, Pennsylvania, there was a deadly accident recently involving a truck and a horse-drawn buggy. A semi-truck hit the buggy from behind while it was traveling on the shoulder of the roadway. The accident resulted in the death of an Amish woman and her child. The father, who was operating the buggy, was taken to a hospital in Ohio. He suffered critical injuries.
There are currently no details about the driver of the truck and whether or not he was driving while under the influence. A police investigation is ongoing.
Victims involved in a drunk driving accident need to understand their rights. If a police investigation results in a drunk driver being formally charged with some type of citation, it may help the victims seek a claim in court for damages. However, a criminal conviction is not necessary, nor does it preclude, seeking compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. Damages are based on the nature and circumstances surrounding the accident. Punitive as well as compensatory damages may be available. In cases where a death occurs, a wrongful death claim may be a viable option for the family of the victim. Either way, protecting one's rights in drunk driving case in paramount.
Source: International Business Times, "Deadly Amish Buggy Accident In Pennsylvania Kills 2," Philip Ross, December 1, 2013