While no one wants to dwell on the possibility of losing a loved one in a car accident, the harsh reality is that innocent people are often forced to pay the fatal consequences of another party’s wrongdoing. When these tragedies do happen, loved ones or dependents may be able to hold wrongful parties accountable and receive compensation by filing a wrongful death lawsuit.
Recently, the families of a young couple killed in a Florida car crash announced the filing of a lawsuit against the driver who caused the fatal collision. The defendant, 45-year-old Shawn Blitchington, was charged with three counts of DUI manslaughter after a head-on crash that killed 21-year-old Ryan Kennedy and 22-year old Bailey McKnight, who was eight months pregnant at the time of her death. This was the sixth time that Blitchington was arrested for driving under the influence, with previous records dating as early as 2002.
Another wrongful death case resulted in a Dallas nightclub being hit with a $25 million wrongful death verdict after serving Dallas Cowboys Josh Brent too much alcohol and allowing him to leave the bar extremely intoxicated. After leaving the bar, Brent crashed his vehicle and killed the passenger in his car, Cowboys teammate Jerry Brown, while driving 110 mph in a 45 mph zone.
In a broader sense, wrongful death claims can be filed against a defendant who either intentionally or unintentionally causes the death of another person. Wrongful death lawsuits are typically filed on behalf of the deceased by family members or other affected parties. An extensive number of damages can be compensated for in a wrongful death suit: suffering experienced by the victim before death, medical costs and fees, funeral costs, expected income loss, inheritance loss, and the loss of care, love, compassion, or consortium, amongst others.
As an experienced wrongful death attorney, I strongly believe that guilty parties must be held accountable for the pain and suffering that they have caused, especially in clearly preventable incidents such as DUI fatalities. If you or a loved one is coping with the tragic outcome of someone’s wrongful death, consider reaching out to us today at 617-391-9001 to discuss your legal options.
A partner at Sweeney Merrigan Law, LLP in Boston, J. Tucker Merrigan represents individual clients throughout all of Massachusetts and the United States—concentrating his practice on cases that involve personal injury, defective medical devices, dangerous drugs, wrongful death, premises liability, products liability, medical malpractice, and insurance law. Known for strong client relationships and positive results, Merrigan has been named a Top 40 Under 40 Trial Attorney by National Trial Lawyers from 2015-2018 and named Super Lawyer Rising Star for 2018.