Drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs are responsible for killing more than 10,000 people every year in the United States, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In 2016, one person died every 50 minutes in car accidents caused by alcohol impairment. A skilled lawyer, like a personal injury lawyer trusts, will be all too aware of the statistics and of the tragedies caused by drivers who should never have been behind the wheel. If you lost a close family member to someone who was DWI, you may be able to get some measure of justice against them. Talk to a lawyer who can review the circumstances of the accident and determine if a wrongful death suit is a viable option.
What is a wrongful death suit?
A wrongful death suit is a form of civil litigation. Civil litigation consists of one party who files a lawsuit against another party. This is different from criminal proceedings in which the state or federal government pursues charges against an individual or company. When someone is found guilty of criminal charges, they are subject to imprisonment. When someone is found guilty in a wrongful death suit, they are subject to paying a monetary award to the plaintiff who is the party who initiated the lawsuit. The amount of the award is determined by a judge or jury, though the plaintiff’s lawyer can request a dollar figure.
When you work with a lawyer, the monetary award request will be based on the damages you are suffering as a result of your loved one’s death. Damages in this context consist of monetary and non-monetary losses. However, your lawyer will have to place a dollar amount on the non-monetary losses in order for them to be considered as part of the damages award. This is a difficult thing to do, as how can a dollar amount be placed on the emotional loss of your loved one? A skilled attorney is cognizant of this fact, and takes a compassionate approach in determining what amount of compensation to request from the court. However, there are certain standards and precedents which your lawyer can explain to you, based on the unique circumstances of your case.
Damages in a Wrongful Death Suit
After a careful review of your case, your lawyer from our firm can itemize the losses you have experienced in light of your loved one’s passing. Common examples include:
- The loss of the deceased’s income if you were dependent on it for your cost of living, etc.
- Your emotional suffering, particularly if the victim was your spouse or minor child.
- All medical costs associated with treating your loved one before they passed.
Contact a Law Firm that Cares
If you lost a loved one due to the behavior of a DWI driver, talk to a lawyer who can meet with you at no charge to discuss your case.