The Law Firm of Leisawitz Heller

The damage caused by holiday drunken driving is far reaching

The holidays are meant to be a time of fun, family and celebration. People across Berks County get together with family and friends for parties, but those parties may be putting people at risk of drunk driving accidents. Unfortunately, some people may celebrate a little too much and take a risk driving home while intoxicated. The results can be disastrous and have long-lasting effects.

For one out-of-state woman, Christmas has been utterly ruined for her after her parents and grandmother were killed in a Christmas Day drunk driving crash in 2007. Nearly six years later and the woman still has negative memories of the holiday. These feelings likely were compounded after the driver responsible for her parents and grandmother's death tried to countersue when she filed a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of her family's estate.

It goes without saying that a wrongful death lawsuit will not bring family members back. It won't heal a family's loss, nor will it remove the painful memories of learning of a family member's death on a holiday. Wrongful death lawsuits do help many families get a sense of justice for their losses. If drunk drivers have robbed them of their family members, they want to hold those drivers responsible. They want them to literally pay for their negligent decisions.

And that is what happened in this story. The 36-year-old teacher's parents and grandmother were in a car on Christmas Day 2007 when a drunk driver rear ended their car. The parents died that day and the grandmother died a few days later. The woman was able to successfully sue the driver and won $14 million, but only after also having to deal with the drunk driver countersuing. He was not awarded anything.

Source: USA Today, "Holiday revelers urged to avoid drunken driving," Larry Copeland, Dec. 11, 2013

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