According to the American Automobile Association, nearly 42 million Americans are expected to travel 50 miles or more over the Independence Day holiday weekend. As people across Seattle and the nation celebrate Independence Day, the likelihood of impaired drivers on the roads also increases. In fact, in 2010, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimated that more than 10,000 people were killed in alcohol-impaired driving accidents. In general, every driver has an on-going duty to obey traffic laws, be attentive and exercise caution on the roadways. Despite all the precautions a driver may take, accidents resulting from the negligence of another driver still happen.
Recently, a 25-year-old man pled guilty to drunk driving and vehicular homicide charges stemming from a fatal car crash, which killed a 58-year-old Seattle woman in April. The fatal motor vehicle accident occurred at a narrow section of Highway 520. According to authorities, the impact of the two cars colliding was similar to a car driving into a wall at nearly 100 miles per hour. The 58-year-old woman suffered extensive injuries, and died only hours after the tragic incident.
It is difficult to imagine the sorrow, pain and suffering the family of the 58-year-old woman is experiencing. Even though this lost life cannot be brought back, her family may find some measure of justice in holding the drunk driver responsible for his negligent act by filing a wrongful death lawsuit. The family may be able to recover compensation for funeral and burial costs, medical costs for injuries resulting from the accident, pain and suffering, loss of income, loss of consortium and more. By holding the negligent party responsible, the family may be able to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future.
Source: The Seattle Times, “Tearful motorist pleads guilty in fatal, wrong-way 520 crash,” Mike Carter, June 21, 2013.