A Louisiana man has decided to plead guilty in connection with the deaths of 7 people back on May 30. The man was driving drunk when he collided with another vehicle. Five people died instantly in the car wreck. Two other passengers survived the crash but succumbed to their injuries several days later.
The driver had been drinking at a restaurant in celebration of his 30th birthday on the night of the accident. The crash occurred when the then intoxicated driver of a pickup truck traveling on La. 67 in East Feliciana Parish slammed head on into a 1996 Mercury Grand Marquis containing the seven people that were killed. The driver of the pickup truck was charged with their deaths.
Authorities determined that the driver’s blood alcohol level was 0.15 which is almost twice the legal limit in Louisiana of 0.08. The driver decided to spare his family and the families of his victims and pleaded guilty to seven counts of vehicular homicide. For each count of vehicular homicide, he faces five to 30 years in prison and the possibility of fines between $2,000 and $15,000.
In addition to the prison term and possible fines, the driver may also face the wrongful death actions from the families of the victims. All but one of the victims was from the same family. They have the right to file a wrongful death claim to recover monetary damages such as medical bills and funeral expenses, but the decision of whether to file is up to them. Any family that finds themselves faced with the decision to of whether to file a wrongful death claim in connection with a car wreck may benefit from gaining an understanding of their rights under our laws. It is important to learn how much time the law allows to initiate such a lawsuit and what proof may be necessary in order to successfully litigate a claim.