The Law Offices of Stephen C. Brown & Associates
Free Consultations
603-841-3080

Car accidents caused by drunk drivers raise increased emotions

Generally, when a drunk driver causes an accident in New Hampshire that results in the death of a passenger, some form of criminal manslaughter charge will be lodged. The statutes come by different names in different states, but a conviction generally carries a substantial jail sentence. Such car accidents come with a lot of emotion, possible incriminations and other twists depending on the kind of relationship between the driver and his or her passenger.

Even if criminal charges are not filed, the estate of the deceased passenger will usually have a civil claim for wrongful death damages against the drunk driver. This applies even if the passenger was also inebriated. Where the estate does not obtain a sufficient recovery from the tortfeasor's liability insurance coverage, an underinsured motorist's claim may be made by the estate against its own carrier, if underinsurance coverage was purchased.

The emotions that can emanate from such an accident reportedly came pouring out at the recent funeral of a 24-year-old passenger who died when the driver lost control and crashed into several walls. That driver, a 24-year-old male who faces criminal charges of vehicular manslaughter, became boisterous at the decedent's funeral and created a harrowing experience for grieving family members. He also claimed that the decedent was driving the car at the time because the accused was too drunk to drive. It is unclear whether additional charges were filed against the driver relating to his egregious behavior at the funeral.

There is little chance that he will succeed in placing responsibility on the deceased passenger. Evidence does accumulate in such car accidents. Here, the authorities claim that social media posts, video footage and a state police investigation all point to the charged individual. Under New Hampshire law and in other states, the defendant may raise the defense and try to convince a jury that he was not driving, but that effort will likely not succeed, based on facts currently available. In any event, the civil claim for wrongful death damages will remain viable against the alleged perpetrator unless it is convincingly proved that he was not the driver.

Source: unionleader.com, "Victim's family: Driver taunted us at funeral", Kevin Landrigan, Dec. 15, 2016

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Serious Law for Everyday People We’re here to help. Serving the community since 1991.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

direction-icon

Rochester Office
21 South Main Street
Rochester, NH 03867

Phone: 603-841-3080
Fax: 603-330-3476
Rochester Law Office Map

Laconia Office
16 Academy Street
Laconia, NH 03246

Map & Directions

Back to Top