Q: Can a driver with prior DUI convictions be charged with murder?
A drunk driving accident often leaves devastation and life-altering personal injury in its week.
Recently, a California mother of two young children, who was seven months pregnant, lost her husband and unborn child when a man with two prior DUI convictions reportedly drove drunk again, ran a stop sign, and broadsided their car.
Her husband, who was driving, was killed. The woman and her mother who was also a passenger, suffered “major injuries”. The couple’s other two young children were not in the car. The alleged drunk driver suffered minor injuries.
Reportedly, the man was charged with “one count of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and two accounts each of driving drunk and causing injuries and driving with a blood alcohol content above 0.08% and causing injuries”.
In some circumstances, DUI drivers in fatal crashes who have prior DUI convictions can be charged with murder.
If a driver breaches their duty to exercise reasonable care and not injure others by engaging in negligent behavior such as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they can be sued in a civil personal injury or wrongful death action. In addition, they may face criminal charges.
If liability is established in a personal injury action, the accident victim may be compensated for damages including past and future medical expenses, lost wages and earning capacity, pain and suffering, and property damage. In addition, in particularly egregious circumstances, punitive damages– designed to punish the at fault driver for their irresponsible behavior — may be awarded as well.
If the victim dies as a result of the accident, their closest surviving relatives may be entitled to sue for wrongful death. The damages recoverable in a wrongful death action often include medical bills stemming from the accident, funeral expenses, lost income, mental anguish, property damage, and more, depending on the particular circumstances of each case.
In the grieving and/or recovery following a serious accident, it may be tempting to accept an insurance company settlement offer. It is never in your best interest to do so without first consulting an experienced personal injury attorney who can evaluate your claim and the sufficiency of any settlement offer.
If you or a loved one has been injured, or a loved one has been killed, in a California drunk driving accident or any other accident, the experienced personal injury attorneys at J &Y Law Firm will help you maximize the financial compensation you’re entitled to for your loss. Call us at 877-735-7035 for a free evaluation of your case.
With 21 locations throughout Northern and Southern California, including our headquarters in Los Angeles, we serve clients throughout the state as well as those injured while visiting California.