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Drunk driving accident, loss of a loved one

On Behalf of | Mar 21, 2024 | Drunk Driving Accidents

Spring break is fast-approaching for college students in New Orleans and throughout the country. Hundreds of thousands of visitors (not just college students) flock to this state for spring break celebrations, which means there is a significant increase in traffic. There’s also a greater risk of a drunk driving accident due to those who consume copious amounts of alcohol and then irresponsibly decide to get behind the wheel.

Every drunk driving accident has a high risk of fatality. If you lose a loved one in a collision that an intoxicated driver caused, you might experience emotions that extend beyond the expected grief or sorrow of the situation. Family members grieving the loss of a spouse, child, parent or other loved one in the aftermath of a drunk driving collision often feel frustrated and angry, knowing that their family member’s death was preventable had it not been for a driver’s negligence.

Signs that a drunk driving accident might be moments away

When you’re sharing the road with other drivers in New Orleans, you have no control over their behavior. Sometimes, however, you might notice erratic movement of a vehicle or other issues that warn you of danger and a potential collision. For example, drunk drivers often do these things:

  • Forget to use headlights after dusk
  • Take turns too narrowly or too wide
  • Veer across traffic lines onto the shoulder of the road or into other lanes
  • Use the wrong turn signals
  • Drive much faster or slower than the posted speed limit
  • Straddle the yellow line, driving down the center of the road
  • Randomly apply brakes

If you witness any of these driving behaviors that are common among intoxicated motorists, it’s best to take the next exit or otherwise try to safely distance yourself from the vehicle in question. Unfortunately, on the streets of New Orleans, when traffic is heavy, that’s not always possible.

Coping with the sudden death of a loved one

Nothing can prepare you for the devastation that hits when someone you love suffers fatal injuries in a drunk driving accident caused by another motorist. Whether your loved one was a passenger in your car or was driving another vehicle, the shock of a sudden and unexpected death causes emotional trauma that never fully heals. As you grieve the loss of your loved one, you might think of all the future events that he or she will miss — family gatherings, weddings, graduations, births and everyday life.

There’s no replacement for the loss of a human life. New Orleans law, however, provides recourse by allowing an immediate family member to file a wrongful death claim to seek justice on behalf of a deceased loved one. This is because the decedent would have had the right to file an injury claim had he or she survived. Grieving families can use compensation awarded in a wrongful death case to help offset funeral expenses and other economic distress associated with the drunk driving accident that caused their loved one’s death.