There is no right way to react after losing a family member in a car accident. You may experience disbelief, feel cheated, or be overwhelmed by your loss, wondering how you will ever be able to continue with your daily life.
However, if a drunk driver killed your family member, you will likely feel something else: anger. It is an outrage that someone else’s irresponsible decision cost your relative his life—and unthinkable that they would be free to do the same to someone else in the future.
Thankfully, the state of Kentucky agrees that deaths caused by drinking and driving should be punished accordingly by law. If there is evidence to support that the driver who caused your relative’s death had been drinking or using drugs before the accident, he could face charges of:
- Driving under the influence (DUI). Police will use blood or urine tests to determine the driver’s blood-alcohol levels (or drug-use indicators) after arrest.
- Manslaughter. In Kentucky, vehicular deaths fall under a charge of second-degree manslaughter. This is a Class C felony punishable by five to ten years in prison, license suspension, and up to $10,000 in fines.
- Reckless homicide. Depending on the circumstances of your case, the driver may be charged with homicide if extreme recklessness causes the death of your family member. This Class D felony carries a penalty of one to five years in prison and fines up to $10,000.
- Wrongful death. In addition to criminal charges, the law allows for families of victims whose deaths were caused by the negligence or wrongful act of another to receive monetary damages. If the act constitutes gross negligence, there may also be additional punitive damages.
The months after your loved one is taken will no doubt be one of the hardest times of your life, both emotionally and financially. The decision to file a Kentucky wrongful death claim could help you and your family get the funds you need to survive, justice for your loved one’s loss, and the closure you need to go on living.
Contact the attorneys at Gray and White today by calling (800) 634-8767 or by filling out the contact form on the top of this page. Your one-on-one consultation is FREE, and we charge you nothing unless we win your case.