The jury in a criminal case is currently deliberating whether or not a former professional football player is guilty of manslaughter. The crash occurred on the way home from a nightclub and resulted in the death of another football player from the same team.
Prosecutors say that the driver’s blood alcohol limit was more than twice the legal limit, which is .08 percent in all 50 states. Dash camera footage also shows the driver struggling to perform field sobriety test tasks, further suggesting a high level of intoxication. In the criminal matter, he could face up to 20 years in prison if he is convicted. In cases like this the family members of the victim can also pursue a civil case against a drunk driver for the wrongful death of their loved one.
In a wrongful death case, the family must show that the driver breached his duty of care to the victim and that as a result, the victim died. This can be demonstrated in a variety of ways, but in a drunk driving case it is often a question of whether or not the driver was intoxicated beyond the legal limit when they took responsibility for transporting the victim. Wrongful death cases are meant to compensate the family of the victim for various financial harms caused by the loss, such as a loss of income from the person and the medical expenses associated with the accident. The family can also seek damages for emotional harm and loss of a close relationship with their loved one.
Source: Kentucky.com, “Ex-Cowboys player’s crash case goes to jury,” Nomaan Merchant, Jan. 21, 2014.