In the U.S., many people still die in alcohol-related car accidents every year, although there are laws to prevent drunk driving. As you can imagine, it can be difficult to come to terms with the death of a loved one in an accident, especially after learning that their death could have been prevented. The good news is that the law provides relief to victims’ families in these cases.
When a driver causes an accident while drunk and someone dies as a result, that person may be held liable for wrongful death and face a civil lawsuit. If your loved one died in an accident involving a drunk driver, there are certain things you need to know about filing a wrongful death claim against the driver responsible for the accident.
What is a wrongful death claim?
A wrongful death claim is a type of lawsuit that allows the survivors of a deceased person to seek damages from the individual or party responsible for their loved one’s death. These claims can be filed in civil court, and the damages awarded may be used to help cover medical expenses, funeral costs, and other losses associated with the death.
Which factors go into determining the success of a wrongful death claim?
First, it must be shown that the drunk driver was negligent in causing the accident. This can be done by showing that the driver was driving while impaired due to controlled substances (“drugged driving”) or alcohol, or had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) above the legal limit. Additionally, it must be shown that the victim’s death resulted from the accident and not from any other factors, and the survivors of the deceased must show that they suffered losses due to their loved one’s death.
What types of damages can be awarded in a wrongful death claim?
Damages that may be awarded in a wrongful death suit include economic damages, such as medical bills, funeral costs, and loss of financial support and non-economic or non-financial losses, such as loss of companionship and emotional support.
If you have lost a loved one due to a drunk driver accident, it is important to understand your legal rights, options, and the steps to take, including filing a wrongful death claim. Of course, this process can feel daunting and overwhelming, but with the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer, you can seek the justice and compensation your family deserves. Stevenson Klotz is a reputable law firm with years of experience helping families navigate wrongful death claims.
If you would like to speak with one of our attorneys, please call us today for a free consultation. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have, discuss your case with you in further detail and guide you through the whole process.
Following graduation from Cumberland School of Law at Samford University, Eric Stevenson held a number of positions including Assistant State Attorney in the First Judicial Circuit of Florida. Eric has been practicing with partner Christopher Klotz since 2015 litigating personal injury and car accidents in Alabama and Florida.