ABC 13 (WVEC.com) reported on June 23 that the driver of a pickup truck was sentenced for a July 2013 truck accident in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The driver was found to be legally intoxicated. He lost control of his truck causing it to collide with a Ford Taurus in the oncoming lane. The truck, in turn, was struck by another vehicle. The 84 year-old driver of the Ford Taurus was killed. Other passengers, including the wife of the 84 year-old driver and the 5 year old son of the truck driver, did not suffer life-threatening injuries. The truck driver’s blood alcohol limit was .19. The state legal limit is .08. The driver was sentenced for driving while intoxicated while transporting a child and aggravated involuntary manslaughter.
Typically, when someone, like the 84-year-old driver dies through the fault of another driver, the personal representative of the Estate can bring a wrongful death action against the driver who was at fault. Such actions are typically brought on behalf of the Estate of the decedent and damages normally include medical and funeral bills and the loss of the care, loss of income, and loss of companionship and advice of the decedent to the beneficiaries. Beneficiaries are typically going to include the spouse and if no spouse, the children of the decedent. The differences between the laws in each state can be complex. See our Frequently Asked Questions about Wrongful death actions with respect to those specific differences.
Living victims can also sue the truck driver directly for their own injuries. In this case, the wife of the 84-year old man and the son could sue the truck driver. Because the truck driver was found guilty of criminal offenses, and because the blood alcohol exceeded .15, it is highly likely that those victims are going to be entitled to bring a punitive damages claim against the truck driver. Another consideration in this case is if the the truck driver did not have insurance, or had inadequate insurance then the Estate of the man who died and his wife should be able to collect money under their uninsured and underinsured motorist policy.
If someone you know was killed in a truck accident or any type of vehicle accident, Norfolk truck accident attorney Joe Miller at Joe Miller Law, Ltd., can help you. While nothing can undo the devastating loss of a loved one, a successful lawsuit may help you gain closure and see that the responsible party is held accountable for their inexcusable negligence. Learn more about what our compassionate team is prepared to do for you by calling (888) 694-1671 today.