Drunk driving can be dangerous in any situation, but especially when pedestrians or other motorists fall into the path of a drunk driver. Pedestrians have almost no protection from vehicles, especially those driving erratically or at high speeds. Drunk driver accidents can leave pedestrians with serious injuries and can even be fatal.
A San Jose pedestrian became a victim of a drunk driving accident last year. The 72-year-old pedestrian was riding a Segway in a crosswalk when he was hit by a car. The car was being driven by an 84-year-old man who was driving under the influence of alcohol. The driver had run a red light. The pedestrian was taken to a local hospital but died a short time later.
Recently, the driver pleaded guilty to felony vehicular manslaughter and was sentenced to jail. The driver will serve 18 months behind bars and an additional six months of probation.
Each year, thousands of people are injured in car accidents. Accident victims, including pedestrians, may recover damages if a driver is proven to have acted negligently.
While criminal charges may help families feel a sense of justice for their loved ones' untimely death, these types of cases cannot compensate them for the financial losses drunk driving accidents cause. Accident victims and their families may be able to collect compensation through a civil lawsuit. The money that is awarded may be used to cover lost wages, medical expenses, funeral expenses and pain and suffering. Accidents victims and their loved ones would be wise to consult with an experienced attorney in order to determine the best course of action.
Source: Gilroy, CA Patch, "Octogenarian Gets 2 Years in Jail for Morgan Hill Manslaughter," Jacob Bourne, Sept. 28, 2012
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