Things are looking up for NFL player Delanie Walker, who is getting ready to start his first season with the Tennessee Titans. Off the field, however, he is carrying the weight of knowing he recently lost loved ones to a drunk driver. His aunt and uncle were killed six months ago when a drunk driver smashed into their car as they drove home from seeing their nephew play at the Louisiana Superdome.
A 26-year-old woman was arrested in connection with the incident and faces four charges related to drunk driving. For his part, Walker was inspired to reach out after the accident to try to prevent accidents like this one in the future. He has become involved in the activist group Mothers Against Drunk Driving and is speaking to different groups about his experience and ways to prevent drunk driving accidents.
Many Tennessee families may know how he feels. It's always painful to lose a loved one unexpectedly, but there can be a special kind of frustration that comes with knowing that a family member's death was caused by another person's carelessness in getting behind the wheel while intoxicated.
There can also be great costs. When a loved one is killed, the victim's family is left without that person's income and companionship. There may also be hospital bills to pay or other costs. It makes many people uncomfortable to talk about a deceased relative in terms of financial losses, but these damages are real. Criminal charges against the person responsible can help bring a sense of justice, but they don't do a lot to address these damages.
Tennessee residents who lose a family member due to another driver's negligence may be compensated for damages through a wrongful death lawsuit. It's important that families who have experienced this kind of loss get help understanding their rights and their legal options.
Source: Rant Sports, "Tennessee Titans: Delanie Walker Looking for Closure in Drunk Driving Accident Involving Loved Ones," Ryan Heckman, Aug. 7, 2013