Girardi | Keese

Man arrested for drunk driving could lead to wrongful death claim

Negligent and reckless drivers make decisions that can lead to serious injuries and sometimes even death. Negligent drivers may choose to do the wrong thing, or they may fail to do the right thing. Impaired judgement is flawed judgement, and it can lead to a wrongful death suit being filed.

A recent car accident on I-580 in California claimed the life of a 29-year-old man. During the late morning hours, a man and his passenger were driving in a Hummer. Traffic had apparently been traveling at about 50 mph, but then slowed to a crawl.

According to reports, the man driving the Hummer did not brake at all, hitting the Jeep in front of him at 50 mph. The Jeep was allegedly projected about one hundred feet from the impact, hit a couple of other cars and caught fire. The fire spread to the other vehicles, including the Hummer.

The driver of the Jeep was killed. The passenger in the Hummer reportedly had minor injuries, although it was not immediately clear if they were from the accident or the fire. The passenger was taken to a local hospital for treatment. The driver of the Hummer apparently also had minor injuries, although again, it was not clear if those injuries were sustained from the impact or the fire. He received treatment at a local hospital before being taken to jail.

According to reports, despite the fact that the crash happened early in the morning, the driver of the Hummer failed the field sobriety tests. The driver was arrested and jailed on felony drunk driving and vehicular manslaughter charges. While authorities have already charged the driver of the Hummer, there is always a possibility that additional charges may be added if their investigation revealed anything else.

Proof of negligent or reckless actions on the part of any driver in California may give victims the right to file a personal injury claim. In a case where the victim is deceased, their surviving family members may have the right to file a wrongful death claim. In the case of a wrongful death claim, any financial compensation that might be awarded could help cover pain and suffering, loss of companionship, loss of future wages and final expenses.

Source: contracostatimes.com, Livermore: Man arrested on suspicion of drunken driving in fiery, fatal I-580 crash, David DeBolt, Dec. 13, 2013

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