Unfortunately, the victims and their family members of many Tennessee residents involved in car crashes are left with debilitating injuries, extremely costly medical bills, and even the loss of loved ones. In DUI accidents, the criminal penalties imposed on the drunk driver often seen minor compared to the losses and injury suffered by the people affected by the crash. Fortunately, there are legal mechanisms outside of the criminal justice system that can help victims and their families pursue some level of compensation for the losses suffered.
In Tennessee, a former Fort Campbell soldier who had been charged with several DUI-related charges as the result of a fatal accident, including vehicular homicide and reckless endangerment, leaving the scene and aggravated vehicular assault, recently pled guilty to the charges. The victim of the crash was a 47-year-old woman who died in the hospital six months after the crash occurred. The driver's penalties include a two-year sentence comprised of 180 days jail time and probation. As a result of being credited for time served, he will only serve 71 days in jail after the sentencing.
In cases like this, especially where a fatality occurred, the punishment does not always seem to fit the crime. Families and victims involved in an accident caused by a drunk driver often suffer a great deal, including physically, emotionally and financially. The deliberate act of drinking and driving makes the offense seem that much more egregious. Families and victims can file a personal injury lawsuit against a drunk driver in order to recover compensation that can help families cover the medical costs associated with serious injuries, replace income lost due to time away from work and account for pain and suffering.
Despite the outcome of a criminal trial involving a drunk driver, those affected by an accident can still recover compensation in a civil trial because the standards are difficult. With the help of an experienced attorney, families can make a strong case for compensation based on available evidence about the driver's culpability and the effects suffered by the family.
Source: TheLeafChronicle.com, "Former soldier pleads guilty to reckless homicide in DUI wreck," Tavia D. Green, March 18, 2013