When a Drunk Driver Kills – Filing Wrongful Death Charges

Don’t drink and drive. In the United States nearly 30 people die in drunk driving accidents every day. Drinking even a small amount of alcohol can impair a driver’s reflexes enough to cause an accident. The penalties for driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol can be severe, ranging from suspension of your driver’s license to steep fines to a prison sentence.

When a drunk driver causes an accident that kills someone, the family of the victim can bring a wrongful death claim. Possible defendants in a DUI case are:

  • The driver
  • The establishment that sold the alcohol that was consumed immediately prior to the accident. This is particularly relevant if the sale was made to a driver who was already intoxicated or a minor.

  • The employer of the driver – if the driver was operating a work vehicle on work time

In order to file a wrongful death claim, the representatives of the accident victim must show that the survivors suffered financially and emotionally as a direct result of the fatal accident. According to Florida law (Wrongful Death Act of 2012) a plaintiff can sue for damages to compensate for:

  • Loss of income – this is particularly significant if the victim was the household provider
  • Loss of companionship – especially for a spouse
  • Medical expenses –such as hospital bills and ambulance transport.

The lynchpin of a wrongful death claim is the plaintiff’s ability of to prove that the defendant’s negligence caused the victim’s death. In the case of a drunk driving accident, this is clear. If your loved one was killed in an accident, consult a wrongful death attorney and learn more about your right to be compensated for your expenses and suffering.  For your free consultation call the Palm Harbor Law Office of Paul B. Genet, P.A. at 727-538-8865 or contact us online.

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