In California and across the country there are numerous negligent behaviors that can lead to the occurrence of a car accident. One behavior that leads to especially tragic, and often fatal, accidents is driving while under the influence of alcohol. A fatal accident that recently occurred in California exhibited this very principle.
According to authorities, the drunk driver was traveling down the road in his Hummer when traffic began to slow. Unfortunately, the man did not use his brakes and he hit a Jeep Cherokee while traveling at approximately 50 mph while the Cherokee was only moving at approximately 10 mph.
The impact caused the Jeep to be pushed more than 100 feet into two other vehicles. The Jeep then caught on fire. The 29-year-old driver of the Jeep suffered fatal injuries as a result. The driver of the Hummer and his passenger escaped their burning vehicle, but when the driver was taken to the hospital he failed a sobriety test.
The man has since been arrested on suspicion of felony drunk driving and felony vehicular manslaughter. However, these are just the criminal ramifications for his behavior which may not provide tangible relief to his victim’s family. Civil consequences, however, may be helpful, maybe leading to the recovery of compensation.
The 29-year-old’s surviving loved ones may be able to recover damages to help them pay unexpected medical and death expenses. These recoveries may also help ease the emotional toll that results from such a tragic accident.
In order to recover compensation after a fatal accident, a surviving family must show the defendant’s negligence led to the occurrence of the accident. If that is the case, then the surviving loved ones may succeed on their claim. A California wrongful death attorney may be able to assist in seeking compensation, as he or she may develop strong legal arguments to further the family’s claim.
Times like this can be very stressful and difficult for a family that has lost a loved one. It is often helpful to enlist the assistance of a personal injury attorney who can help ease the family’s stress, therefore allowing them to heal emotionally while hopefully being free from undeserved debt .
Source: Contra Costa Times, “Livermore: Man arrested on suspicion of drunken driving in fiery, fatal I-580 crash,” David DeBolt, Dec. 13, 2013