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Young mother severely injured by alleged drunk driver

A woman, who was riding as a passenger in a vehicle traveling on Interstate 275 in the Tampa area, was severely injured when another vehicle struck the car she was riding in hard in the back. Both the driver who rear-ended the vehicle and the other driver suffered what police called "minor" injuries. Unfortunately, the young woman later died from her injuries, even though she was properly restrained in the vehicle.

According to police, alcohol was involved in this accident, and police have charged the driver of the vehicle that caused the accident with alcohol-related criminal offenses, including manslaughter. Police are continuing their investigation and have indicated that additional charges might be forthcoming. The victim, who was only 27, had two young children as well as other relatives.

Although the criminal justice system can help victims somewhat, it is generally speaking more designed to punish a drunk driver with jail time and other penalties than it is to make sure that a victim of a drunk driving accident, or the victim's family, gets full compensation for their loss. By way of example, pain and suffering and other losses without a clear dollar value generally cannot be recovered in a criminal case.

Fortunately, even while the criminal case is pending, victims of drunk driving accidents or their families have the option of filing a civil lawsuit against the drunk driver, assuming of course that the drunk driver actually caused the accident, which appears to be the case here. Because these lawsuits are sometimes complicated matters and because police and prosecutors generally cannot help victims in their civil cases, they may want to consider hiring an experienced personal injury attorney in the area.

Source: Fox 13, "FHP: Drunk driver caused crash that killed mother of two," Aaron Mesmer, Oct. 31, 2017.

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