Drunk Driving Accident Wrongful Death Claims
Driving while intoxicated is not only unlawful, it is also hazardous, and in many instances, drunk driving leads to fatal collisions. Losing a loved one due to a drunk driving accident often not only causes emotional distress but also brings about significant financial hardships. Although money alone cannot mend the harm caused by a family member’s death, people who lost loved ones in crashes caused by impaired drivers can often recover substantial financial compensation and should speak to an attorney. The dedicated Cape Cod car accident attorneys of The Law Offices of John C. Manoog, III, understand the trauma caused by the sudden death of a loved one, and if your family member was killed in a drunk driving collision, we can help you to fight for a just outcome. Our lawyers have more than fifteen decades of experience handling drunk driving accident wrongful death claims, and our skilled advocacy has enabled us to recover multiple multi-million dollar settlements and verdicts for our clients.Liability for Fatal Drunk Driving Accidents
People who drive while intoxicated typically lack the ability to operate their vehicles in a safe manner. Specifically, they often suffer from delayed reaction times and diminished mental capacities, which can cause them to lose control of their cars and collide with other vehicles. Generally, people who lose a loved one due to a crash caused by a drunk driver will pursue negligence claims against the driver in a wrongful death lawsuit. To prove a person’s negligence caused a fatal accident, a plaintiff must show that the person had a duty to act with reasonable care, the person breached the duty, and the breach proximately caused actual harm.
In addition to pursuing claims against the driver that caused a fatal drunk driving accident, a plaintiff may also be able to recover compensation from the party that served the driver alcohol. In other words, under Massachusetts law, liquor licensees such as bars and restaurants may be held liable for harm intoxicated individuals cause to third parties if they served the individuals alcohol when they were visibly intoxicated. If the person that caused the crash consumed alcohol at a party, the person that hosted the party may be deemed accountable for harm the person subsequently causes while intoxicated in some instances as well.Drunk Driving Accident Wrongful Death Claims
Under Massachusetts’ wrongful death law, a party that negligently causes a person’s death may be held responsible for any reasonable funeral and burial costs incurred by the person’s family or estate. Additionally, surviving family members may be granted compensation for the loss of income, which is based on the amount the deceased person would have earned during his or her life, as well as damages for the loss of counsel, comfort, and companionship the deceased person provided. In some cases in which an especially egregious act caused the fatal accident, the family members may also be awarded punitive damages.
People who wish to pursue drunk driving accident wrongful death claims must act promptly, as their claims generally must be within three years of the date of their family member’s death. Notably, under Massachusetts law, only the executor or administrator of a deceased person’s estate may pursue wrongful death claims. If the claims are successful, any damages awarded will be divided between the deceased person’s beneficiaries as dictated by law.Speak to a Knowledgeable Cape Cod Attorney
Driving while intoxicated tragically often causes fatal injuries, and people that engage in such reckless behavior should be held accountable. If you lost a loved one in a fatal drunk driving accident, you should speak to an attorney about your rights. The knowledgeable Cape Cod car accident lawyers of The Law Offices of John C. Manoog, III, can advise you of your potential claims and help you to seek any damages recoverable. We regularly assist people with drunk driving accident wrongful death claims on Cape Cod and are available to meet with clients in Plymouth and Hyannis as well. You can reach us at (888) 262-6664 or via our online form to schedule a meeting.