Catastrophic DUI Accidents: Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against the Negligent Driver
Drunk driving is a very dangerous act that can cause harm at any point without warning, to either the driver, passengers or bystanders. Individuals who choose to drive under the influence run the risk of injuring themselves and injuring others they share the road with. Unfortunately, deadly DUI accidents are not uncommon in southern California. Most recently, an alleged inebriated female driver rear-ended a Lyft car on Route 163 in Balboa Park. As a result of the excessive speeds, one passenger was killed and two other victims were severely injured. The deceased victim, a 40-year old man from San Francisco, leaves behind an extensive family including his partner and pet.
When a victim perishes as a result of another’s negligence, the victim’s survivors have the potential to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the perpetrator in effort of recovering damages. Drunk drivers who have caused the death of another are subject to civil claims known as wrongful death lawsuits. While a drunk driver can face very serious criminal charges, such as jail time, loss of license, fines and other penalties, the reckless driver can also be subject to civil liability if the victim’s family sues him or her.
If you have recently lost a loved one as a result of a drunk driver, filing a civil suit against the perpetrator may be the best approach to recover damages for the losses you have accrued.
Criminal Proceedings vs. Filing a Civil Lawsuit
Filing a wrongful death lawsuit is different from the criminal proceedings a criminal could face. Criminal charges against a person are set to protect the general public from any future harm. Criminal charges and convictions serve as a deterrent, which will prevent the drunk driver from committing the same offense. Upon conviction, a criminal charge also serves as a form of punishment for the negligent act. Drunk drivers are also subject to criminal prosecution even if there was no injury or death of another person.
The victim’s family can file a civil lawsuit in effort of recovering damages. The lawsuit can be filed even if criminal proceedings have begun against the defendant. If successful, a wrongful death lawsuit can help the victim’s family receive monetary compensation for funeral expenses, burial costs, medical expenses the victim amassed before passing, and non-monetary damages, such as pain and suffering.
Obtain the Legal Support of a Skilled Attorney
If you have lost a loved one as a result of a reckless driver who was intoxicated at the time of the incident, you may have the legal right to pursue a lawsuit against the accused. Losing a loved one because of a careless act can be a very traumatic and difficult experience. Consider seeking the legal support of an experienced attorney who can help you through the process.
The attorneys at Martinez & Schill, LLP are highly skilled in the field of wrongful death lawsuits involving DUI accidents. The firm is dedicated to helping those who have suffered grievances as a result of negligence committed by others. Wrongful death claims in California are subject to time restrictions; consider obtaining proficient legal support as soon as possible.