Drunk driver who killed bicyclist sued for wrongful death

The death of a child, no matter their age, can be devastating for a parent. Any wrongful death lawyer knows that when that death was caused by the misconduct of another, it can be particularly painful for the surviving family members.

The father of a 19-year-old who was killed by a drunk driver recently filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the driver. The 19-year-old was riding a bicycle when he was hit by an SUV; the SUV continued moving, dragging the bicycle and the rider 100 feet before stopping. The driver's blood alcohol level after the accident was measured at 0.093. By Pennsylvania state law, a driver is considered intoxicated at a 0.08 percent blood alcohol level. The driver pleaded no contest to a DUI charge, and was sentenced to six months of probation. In the wrongful death suit, the family is seeking over $50,000 in damages.

Car accidents are governed by the law of negligence. Drivers must exercise reasonable care under the circumstances, and when they failure to do that, they can be found negligent. Drunk driving is a common cause of car accidents, and is a factor that courts consider when determining negligence. When a person is killed because of the negligence of another, the deceased person's family may have a right to bring a wrongful death action against the responsible party.

In a successful wrongful death action, the surviving family may be able to recover damages for the personal injury, pain and suffering and some medical expenses. Other monetary damages may be available as well, including awards for loss of support and services. While damages cannot bring back a loved one, they can offer some relief from any financial burden.

Source: TribLive.com, "Father of dead bicyclist sues drunken driver," Liz Zemba, Jan. 29, 2013

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