A 21-year-old man from New Jersey was charged with vehicular homicide and third-degree assault by a vehicle, as well as a summons for speeding. According to the report, the man was allegedly drunk driving when he caused an accident that resulted in the wrongful death of his 22-year-old passenger. The man allegedly lost control of his vehicle, veered off of the road and smashed into a nearby tree. The crash resulted in the death of the backseat passenger. The front seat passenger was treated for his injuries at a nearby hospital.
The driver of the vehicle was released from police custody on $100,000 bail. The driver also had to surrender his driver's license. If he is convicted of the vehicular homicide charge, he could face a maximum sentence of 10 years in jail. If he is convicted on the assault by vehicle charge, he could face five years in prison.
Losing a loved one in a drunk driving accident is a painful experience for the victim's family members. In many cases, the family can choose to pursue legal action against the driver responsible for the death. In order to file a wrongful death suit, a death must have occurred due to another's negligence. In addition, the victim's family may be entitled to compensation. A New Jersey attorney may be able to help advise the family on their legal options and their rights should they decide to pursue a wrongful death suit.
In many cases, the family could seek damages against the driver in the form of monetary compensation. While this cannot bring back the lost loved one, it could help the family with lost income, any medical expenses, funeral costs and even lost companionship.
Source: NJ.com, "Howell man charged with vehicular homicide, DWI in fatal township crash", Ashley Peskoe, July 11, 2013