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Tennessee couple killed by alleged drunk driver

A family can be devastated by the loss of a loved one in a traffic accident. And when it is an alcohol related accident caused by a negligent driver, that feeling of loss can turn to anger and a thirst for justice.

A Tennessee married couple was killed recently when another driver struck their car head-on. Police said the other driver had been drinking. The 74-year-old man and the 73-year-old woman were towing a boat behind their Chevrolet Silverado in the early hours of April 10 when police said the other driver crossed a highway centerline and hit their car. The man and woman were pronounced dead at the scene.

The 21-year-old driver of the other car was treated at a nearby hospital, but his injuries were not considered life-threatening, police said. No charges were immediately filed against the man, but he could be prosecuted for drunk driving offenses.

The criminal justice system can play its part in the aftermath of a fatal drunk driving accident, but it doesn't always help the family of the victims, who are left without the companionship and the income of their loved ones. When a loved is killed in a traffic accident caused by a negligent driver, the victim's immediate family members may file a lawsuit in a Tennessee court on behalf of the victim's estate. If they can prove that the loss was caused by the other driver's negligence, they may be compensated for some of their losses. Any award will go to the victim's estate and pass to the heirs through a will or the laws of inheritance. These lawsuits are difficult, both technically and emotionally, but they can help the family cope with the aftermath of a tragic loss.

Source: Times Free Press, "Elderly couple killed in Polk County wreck; charges pending," April 10, 2013

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