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When a person causes an accident because he or she was driving under the influence (DUI), innocent people can be killed. Victims can include the occupants of other motor vehicles on the road, pedestrians, bicyclists, or passengers in the automobile driven by the alleged drunk driver. When a person dies because of an intoxicated driver’s negligence, certain people who may be entitled to compensation include:
These parties may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit to collect such damages for hospital, nursing, medical, funeral expenses, and expenses of administration necessitated by reason of injuries causing death. It may also be possible for the spouse, children, parents, or personal representative of the victim to file a survival action that allows the party to collect damages that the deceased would have been eligible to claim in a personal injury or other tort lawsuit had he or she survived.
A motorist in Pennsylvania who is charged with DUI is civilly liable for the damages he or she causes. However, a bar, restaurant, or other establishment that sells alcohol may also be liable under Pennsylvania Dram Shop laws if it served or sold alcohol to an individual who was already intoxicated and that person then caused a motor vehicle accident. Similarly, an individual who hosted a party or other get-together at which a minor consumed alcohol can also be liable under Pennsylvania’s Social Host law if that minor causes a crash while under the influence, regardless of whether the host personally served the minor or knew about the minor consuming alcohol.
When a loved one’s death is the result of another person driving drunk, it would seem like a rather straightforward case of negligence. However, insurance companies rarely make recovering compensation easy. They will often find ways to insinuate that a victim’s own negligence contributed to his or her injuries. When the defendants are establishments or social hosts, insurance companies will go out of their way to prove that nobody was aware the driver was intoxicated.
In these types of cases, it is critical to have the help of an experienced West Chester DUI accident attorney. Ciccarelli Law Offices provides legal representation on a contingency fee basis so our clients pay us absolutely nothing unless we get them a financial award, and our lawyers work as a team investigating these cases and fighting to recover all of the compensation that the families of victims are entitled to.
Ciccarelli Law Offices will provide a complete evaluation of your case when you call (610) 719-3190 to arrange a free consultation. We help clients in Chester County, Lancaster County, Delaware County, Philadelphia County, and Montgomery County.