Our Philadelphia readers are most likely aware that one important responsibility when it comes to operating an automobile is never to drive when under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Driving a car while sober can itself be a dangerous task, but when a driver is inebriated, the risk of a car accident increases substantially.
A driver's sensory perception and decision making abilities are often seriously impaired when they drive while intoxicated. This was unfortunately demonstrated in a recent accident that occurred in Northeast Philadelphia.
A 33-year-old Philadelphia man was driving his SUV when he ran a red light and broadsided a car with the right-of-way. The collision forced the car into oncoming traffic, causing it to crash into a third vehicle. Both the passenger and driver of the car struck by the SUV were killed. The SUV driver, who was uninjured, was arrested at the scene and criminally charged with DUI and vehicular homicide.
The wife of one of the victims had just recently immigrated to the U.S., pregnant with their second child. The victim was the sole financial provider for the young family and his death means his wife must now find a way to support their children despite the fact that she has no job skills.
This sad story shows how devastating it can be, both emotionally and financially, to lose a loved one to an intoxicated driver. An at-fault driver in a case like this makes an irresponsible choice when they decide to get behind the wheel while under the influence. When their negligent conduct causes an accident, they can be liable to a victim's family for the resulting damage.
With the assistance of a personal injury attorney, the loved ones of a victim killed in a car accident can file a civil suit for wrongful death. A court can award the family compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, property damage, funeral expenses, loss of wages and loss of companionship. These awards cannot bring back the victim, but they can relieve the financial burden their family unwillingly had to shoulder due to the negligence of another person.
Source: 6abc.com, "Suspect in deadly DUI crash held on $500,000 bail," Nov. 14, 2012