My son was killed as a result of an auto accident in which he was the passenger and the driver was drunk, what recourse do we have as a family?

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My son was killed as a result of an auto accident in which he was the passenger and the driver was drunk, what recourse do we have as a family?

My son is survived by 3 small children but was not married. Can the driver be sued on behalf of the children or the family as a whole?

Asked on January 26, 2016 under Personal Injury, Minnesota

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Possibly the driver can be sued by the legal representative or guardian of the children IF the driver was at fault; liability, or an obligation to pay compensation, in auto accident cases depends on fault, or driving negligently (unreasonably carelessly) in some way (e.g. DUI or DWI; speeding; texting while driving; etc.). If the driver was not driving carelessly, he or she would not be liable, because in that event, he or she was not at fault and did nothing wrong.
However, you write that the driver was drunk; assuming that his/her blood alcohol level was at the level to be considered intoxicated or impaired, then he or she would almost certainly be considered to have been driving negligently. Therefore, based on what you write, there would seem to be a basis for a lawsuit, and you should speak with a personal injury attorney about possibly bringing a lawsuit. 


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