If you can’t get yourself a designated driver, at least get in the vehicle alone and don’t take anyone with you. But those words weren’t heeded by a 24-year-old man arrested for DUI after he lost control of his car and went off the roadway and hit several trees, according to police. Drunk driving accidents in North Carolina are a tragic source of personal injury and wrongful death claims for compensation due to the huge numbers of human destruction that they reap.
In this case, the results were particularly heinous in that a 15-month-old baby who was a passenger in the man’s car died in the accident. The driver was charged with DUI, child endangerment, and simple possession of marijuana. He had apparently picked up the child from the mother who was at work.
It appears the child was likely restrained in a car seat in the rear seat. The male child was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. The driver also went to the same hospital, and tried to flee after his arrival. That attempt was unsuccessful. At last report, the man was being held without bond.
The estate of the child will in all likelihood have a wrongful death claim against the driver under North Carolina law dealing with negligence and drunk driving accidents. He was negligent in losing control of the vehicle and going off the road. Wrongful death damages include pain and suffering, medical expenses, funeral benefits and loss of earning for the decedent’s life expectancy. In a case like this, the age of the child is problematic because there is no earnings history upon which to base lost wages or lost earning capacity damages. These may successfully be estimated by the presentation of expert testimony.
Source: wistv.com, “Bond denied for driver in DUI crash that killed infant,” June 19, 2013