When DUI victims do not survive a crash caused by an intoxicated or impaired driver, their families can be left trying to pull together the pieces of their lives in the aftermath of such a tragedy. Those who have lost a family member to fatal drunk driving are left to pick up the pieces. Family members wonder why their innocent loved one was taken away from them in such a devastating manner, as well as then having to face legal proceedings and typically court dates whilst trying to grieve.
Our experienced fatal drunk driving attorneys have a wealth of experience supporting families through the hardest times in their lives whilst representing them at court to the best of our legal knowledge. In our article, we’ll discuss just how the legal system supports DUI victims who suffer severe injuries as well as fatal drunk driving cases.
The injury attorneys at Phoenix Accident and Injury Law Firm in Phoenix have significant experience in helping clients who lost family members due to fatal drunk driving. If you need help filing a claim for one of these awful, life changing accidents, we are here to help you get the compensation you deserve. Our offices are conveniently located in Chandler, Peoria, and North Phoenix, and we can meet in-person or over the phone or video call. You can contact us for a free consultation, or read on to find out more.
By the way, we will also help with other problems that have cost you sleep, like getting a rental car very soon and finding a nearby doctor or psychiatrist who can help get your life back on track. Even the best legal team isn’t good enough if your quality of life isn’t sustainable while justice and compensation are on the way. The whole point of legal action is to regain quality of life, so we help you long-term as attorneys and short-term as your go-to people. Our familiarity with the local Phoenix courts makes us confident that we can help you get the best settlement possible.
If you are unsure whether or not you can afford an attorney, don’t worry. We only get paid when you settle. Check out our Attorney Fees Calculator to find out more.
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How the Legal System Handles Severe Drunk Driving Injuries
In another article, we discussed other ways the law looks to protect victims of drunk driving by enforcing the dram shop law, but what happens when the result is severe or life-changing injury as a direct result of a DUI? If you or a loved one have been left with life-changing injuries, your case will carefully consider every aspect of your life that has been directly impacted including the ability to work and any ongoing medical bills for the rest of your life. Sadly, brain and spinal injuries are some of the more common injuries sustained by DUI accidents, meaning they will have a longer-term healing period- if there is a chance for a full recovery.
All kinds of ongoing health complications and issues that are brought on directly as a result of your accident will be carefully considered and will attribute to the overall penalty decisions judges will make.
Fatal Drunk Driving Cases
An even more tragic stat is the number of wrongful deaths caused by people driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol in 2019 alone, with 460 deaths directly relating to DUI crashes. Wrongful death cases are much more uncommon but when they happen, leave a huge lasting impact on family members and other loved ones who are involved. If a driver is found guilty of causing wrongful death by driving under the influence, they’ll face up to 16.5 years in prison, depending on the severity of manslaughter or accidental death the judge decides is most appropriate.
What is Arizona’s Definition of “Wrongful Death”?
In Arizona, “Wrongful Death” is the legal term that is applied when a person who reasonably should not have died passes away. It is likely that if your loved one was killed in a car accident, their death is considered wrongful death.
Who Can File A DUI Wrongful Death Claim?
In Arizona, only certain people can file a DUI wrongful death claim. They must be:
- Surviving Spouses
- Surviving Children
- Surviving Parents
- Surviving Guardians
- A Personal Representative of the Deceased
If none of these conditions apply, a fatal drunk driving lawsuit can also be filed on behalf of the deceased’s estate.
What Is A DUI Wrongful Death Settlement?
A DUI wrongful death settlement is an amount of money awarded to surviving family members following the fatality of a family member. This is paid out by the insurance of the sued party, either following an out of court settlement or a verdict in court. Once damages are awarded, the surviving family members can divide the compensation among themselves.
How Long Do I Have to File A DUI Wrongful Death Claim?
If you’re looking to file a wrongful death on behalf of your loved one you have up to two years from the date they die to file a claim with a wrongful death attorney.
How Is A Fatal Drunk Driving Settlement Payment Worked Out?
A specialized attorney will work out the total financial compensation that each unique wrongful death case deserves based on a few different factors.
- The nature of the fatality
- The age and general health status of the deceased
- The occupation and annual income of the deceased person
- How many dependents are left and their circumstances
- Any outstanding medical bills caused directly by the case
- Any value of lost benefits such as life insurance, pensions, etc.
- All funeral costs
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Get Help Now
At Phoenix Accident and Injury Law Firm near you, we have more than 15 years of experience helping clients obtain compensation for their personal injuries from DUI accidents in the Phoenix area. When you’re ready to talk, please contact our office to arrange a free initial consultation by phone or at our Chandler office, conveniently located near you.
If you have been in a DUI accident, contact Phoenix Accident and Injury Law Firm in nearby Chandler, AZ to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney. We provide personal injury legal services to clients in your area including Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Tempe, and Peoria.