Holding Drunk Drivers Accountable for their Actions – today’s guest blog is by Goodrich and Associates, P.C. in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. The opinions expressed by the author in this and all guest blogs are not necessarily those of Marc J. Victor, P.C.
Holding Drunk Drivers Accountable for their Actions
PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania. Victims and families of drunk drivers may struggle with grief, injuries, and major lifestyle changes stemming from their car accident. These crashes are particularly devastating because they are so easily preventable. One person’s lack of responsibility and poor decision making can lead to serious injuries that can shatter lives and devastate families. While it is a criminal offense to drink and drive in Pennsylvania, many families may also find that the punishment may not always fit the crime.
For instance, according to the Missoulian, one victim’s family faces repeated parole hearings where they must face the woman who took their daughter’s life. Due to a change in the law, the woman responsible for the crash will also be up for parole once a year. The woman responsible for their daughter’s death has a 70-year sentence, but the family has already had to attend two parole hearings this year alone.
While many criminal justice systems focus on holding individuals accountable when they injure or take the life of another driver due to drunk driving, families sometimes find that the sentencing process may not bring peace. Individuals may be given what some families see as short sentences for what essentially amounts to murder with a motor vehicle. In other cases, those responsible may find themselves up for parole or early release, putting families through a whole new trial process each time.
When individuals are not held responsible for their actions, families sometimes turn to the civil court systems to seek justice. Under civil laws, families also may be entitled to seek recoveries for their medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering damages. The Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania car accident lawyers at Goodrich & Associates: Attorneys at Law understand the immense challenges that victims and families face after these accidents. Families may sometimes even be able to seek punitive damages from individuals who drink and drive. These damages are designed to punish individuals who engage in gross negligence or misconduct that results in another person’s injuries or death.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a drunk driver, there are many resources available. The personal injury lawyers at Goodrich & Associates: Attorneys at Law can help families seek justice through the civil court system. Families who are struggling to pay medical expenses and cover lost wages can pursue a lawsuit; they may also be able to pursue compensation through crime victims’ funds. Mothers Against Drunk Driving also offers a range of supportive resources for families who have been impacted by drunk driving. Through MADD, victims can connect with other families, learn about resources in their communities; and seek to change the laws to make them tougher on drunk drivers.
Until the laws are changed and toughened, some families are choosing to take matters into their own hands through the civil justice system. By making individuals pay for their drinking and driving, families send a clear message to other drivers. Drunk driving will not be tolerated and if you drink and drive, you may have to pay.