Can a Drunk Driver Be Sued for Wrongful Death in a Fatal Accident?

Accidents, even fatal ones, are caused due to someone’s negligence, often a drunk driver or some type of violent crime. These types of accidents may qualify for a wrongful death lawsuit. Wrongful death may apply to various accidents that ended in death. Just because it was a fatal accident, it does not automatically qualify for a wrongful death lawsuit.

A drunk driver may cause someone’s death in a car accident or they may have hit a pedestrian. These are typically the two most common reasons for wrongful death. Drunk driving is one example of negligence the can happen as a result of drunk driving. Other examples are speeding, running lights or stop signs, and driving while distracted. Anyone that disobeys traffic laws while driving must be responsible for the consequences, which may include wrongful death.

A wrongful death sue can be filed by someone that represents the deceased. This person must have suffered because of the death of that person. The most typical person to file this type of lawsuit is the spouse or immediate member of the family. Another examples include a child, included adopted or step children, a life partner, someone who is financially dependent on the deceased. If the deceased is a minor, the parents may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

Some states allow non blood relatives and distance family members to file such a lawsuit if they have suffered financially as a result of the death. Click here to learn more.

It may be surprising to learn all the people that can actually be sued as a result of a fatal car accident. For example, if the accident happened on aa road that was proven to have problems, the designer of the road can be sued right along with the drunk driver. If there was a government agency that did not provide the appropriate amount of warning that there were problems with the road, that agency can be sued. If some part of the vehicle was faulty, the manufacturer or installer of the bad part can be sued. The person who served the alcohol to the drunk driver and the owner of the establishment where the alcohol was served can all be named in the lawsuit.

There are sometimes when someone is immune from being named in a lawsuit. You would not be able to sue these persons for a wrongful death. Those that are immune from being sued may vary from state to state.

Drunk drivers can be subject to criminal prosecution in addition to a civil suit. They are different processes with separate outcomes. There are heavy penalties including jail time that drunk drivers face, especially when someone was killed during the accident. The criminal prosecution is intended to protect the general public from harm. The strict laws and heavy penalties are intended to deter people from driving drunk. Drunk drivers are also supposed to be punished for breaking the law and driving recklessly. There does not need to be an injury or death for someone to face prosecution criminally. Criminal proceedings will not give you any compensation for your injuries, lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering. If you would like to be compensated for these items, you would have to file a civil lawsuit. For a civil lawsuit to be filed against a drunk driver, there must have been some type of injury or death as a result of the drunk driving incident. If you or a loved one is not injured in an accident by a drunk driver, you will not have grounds for a lawsuit.

Some states have no fault laws that may impact your ability to file a civil lawsuit. When you live in a no fault state, there may be a limit on which situations in which you are able to file a lawsuit. In those states, you may have to sustained a certain severity of your injuries or a dollar amount of damages before you can actually file a lawsuit against someone that caused an accident. There is a large debate about the laws in a no fault state when it comes to accidents caused by drunk drivers. Even though the drunk driver is clearly at fault and negligent, there still needs to be a certain amount of damages and injuries to file a lawsuit.

There are states that are considered pure negligence states. In these states, you are able to file a lawsuit for any injuries you sustain as a result of the accident. The only think you need to do in these states is prove that the person whom you are suing was at fault for the accident and the injuries you sustained. This may seem like an easy thing to do, but when lawyers and insurance companies get involved, nothing is ever easy.

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