Wrongful Death When The At-Fault Driver Is Intoxicated

If you have lost a loved one because they were in an auto accident with an intoxicated driver, in some cases, you have the right to file a claim for a wrongful death. If you are the spouse of the individual, the parent of an unmarried child, or a financial dependent of the deceased person, you are likely entitled to file a claim. In many cases, the executor of the estate takes on the responsibility of filing a wrongful death claim on behalf of any claimants. When you meet with an auto accident attorney to discuss the case, you will go into further detail about who is liable for the wrongful death.

The Intoxicated Driver

The first party in a wrongful death claim is the intoxicated driver. They may be facing criminal charges, as well as the wrongful death civil claim you want to file. When a driver gets behind the wheel and drives while intoxicated, they are responsible for their actions. Driving is a privilege, and licensed drivers do not have the right to get behind the wheel while intoxicated without facing consequences in the event of a wrongful death.

The Property Owner Where Alcohol Was Served

There's a reason bartenders will stop serving alcohol to people they believe to be too intoxicated. When the individual who is served ends up killing someone because they are driving under the influence, the owner of the property where the alcohol was served can be sued and held liable. This includes both commercial establishments and private property when alcohol is served.

A Person Who Gave the Alcohol to the Intoxicated Person

If a person gives an intoxicated person alcohol to consume later, that person can be held liable in the event the individual drives under the influence of alcohol. The intoxicated person doesn't have to be with the person who bought the alcohol when they consume it. This is common in cases where the intoxicated driver was a minor and a friend purchased alcohol for the individual because they weren't able to.

When you lose a loved one because of an intoxicated driver, figuring out who is liable can make a big difference in your case. If the driver was served alcohol at a bar or is a minor drinking at a house party, you have the right to seek damages from people or establishments beyond the intoxicated driver. Know your rights, and talk with a wrongful death attorney from a firm like Shenkan Law Center, P.C.