Picking Up After A Loss: 4 Steps To Take When Your Loved One Is Killed By A Drunk Driver

Posted on: 15 May 2019

If your loved one was killed in a drunk driving accident, one of the first things you need to do is hire a wrongful death attorney. Wrongful death accident lawyers will help you through the process of receiving compensation for the loss of your loved one. The information provided below will help you understand more about filing a wrongful death claim against the person responsible for your loved one's death.

Obtain a Copy of the Police Report

Once you've obtained legal representation, you'll want to get a copy of the police report. The police report will contain valuable information that you'll need to have as you proceed with your lawsuit. Some of the information contained in that report will include the personal information for the person who was driving the car, their blood alcohol level, and their insurance information. The report will also contain the names and phone numbers for possible witnesses to the accident as well as the contact information for the responding police officer.

Contact the District Attorney's Office

As soon as you've obtained a copy of the police report, you need to contact the district attorney's office. You'll want to find out if any criminal charges are going to be brought against the person responsible for your loved one's death. It's important to remember that your civil case against the driver is separate from the criminal charges the driver may face. You have the legal right to proceed with a civil case even while the criminal case is still in the court system.

Identify Any Additional Responsible Parties

If your loved one was killed by a drunk driver, there may be additional people who share liability for your loss. This could include friends of the driver who let them continue drinking past intoxication or bartenders who continued to sell drinks to them long after severe intoxication was apparent. In some states, those parties can be held civilly liable for deaths that occurred as a result of a subsequent drunk driving accident. Your attorney will help you determine the list of additional parties to include in the wrongful death suit.

Avoid Making Statements Without Your Attorney

Once you file a wrongful death claim against the responsible party or parties, you may be contacted by their attorneys or insurance companies. You want to avoid talking to them without your attorney present. Those parties will be hoping that you say something they can use to mitigate their liability. Your attorney will help you through any interviews that might be necessary.

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