Early on a recent Tuesday morning in California, employees at a Taco Bell called authorities to report that there was a drunk man on the premises that was causing a disturbance. When police arrived at the restaurant they saw the 23-year-old speed off in his vehicle. What no one realized at that moment is that he would soon cause the tragic death of a soldier that had recently returned from a deployment in Afghanistan.
According to police, the man was traveling at over 80 mph when he ran a red light and struck a motorcyclist. The impact of the motorcycle crash sent the man that had been riding the motorcycle airborne for approximately 30 yards. His body and motorcycle landed in the parking lot of a nearby bank. The suspected drunk driver then proceeded to collide with a utility pole and fled the scene on foot. The motorcyclist suffered fatal injuries as a result of the accident.
The victim of the fatal motorcycle accident was on his way to his in-laws' home, which was just three miles away and also where his wife and two-year-old child were awaiting his arrival.
The driver that caused the accident is being charged with driving under the influence and vehicular manslaughter. However, these are just the criminal charges that have been pressed against him. In situations like this, there is also a possibility that the driver that caused the accident will face civil liabilities as well.
These civil liabilities often manifest in the form of a personal injury lawsuit. Should a victim die due to the negligence of another, the victim's loved ones may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit to pursue compensation from the negligent party.
When surviving loved ones files a wrongful death lawsuit, they are usually able to seek damages to cover medical bills, funeral and death expenses and, depending upon the nature of the deceased individual's contribution to household income, lost wages. Given the emotionally draining nature of this type of situation, it is often very helpful to seek out a personal injury attorney to help the deceased's family through this difficult time so they can focus on healing and moving forward with their lives.
Source: ABC 7, "Marines, friends honor man killed in motorcycle accident," Alan Wang, March 25, 2014