drunk driving

On behalf of Weisman, Kennedy & Berris Co., L.P.A. posted in wrongful death on Saturday, September 29, 2012.

As many of us in Ohio know, drunk driving can result in injuries or death. Law enforcement officials are charged with removing drunk drivers from the road if an officer determines that a driver is impaired. If an officer fails to do his duty and a fatal accident results, it may be possible for the family of the deceased to seek compensation for wrongful death from the relevant authorities.

Recently, two Delaware County deputies and a state trooper were charged with misdemeanors under the Ohio Revised Code for failing to prevent or halt an offense when it was in the officers’ power to do so. The basis for this charge is a drunk driving incident that occurred on July 28.

The two county deputies found a 22-year-old male intoxicated behind the wheel of his truck, which was parked on an I-71 median in Delaware County. The vehicle’s engine was running.

Video of the incident revealed that one of the deputies thought that the man behind the wheel of the truck was intoxicated, but neither deputy thought they could arrest the man because he wasn’t actually driving the vehicle when they found him. While investigating the situation, the deputies were joined by a state trooper.

Instead of arresting the intoxicated man, who is a native of Mexico, the three officers decided to drive him to a nearby Taco Bell. The deputies reasoned that the Taco Bell would have someone who could interpret for the man. The intoxicated man did not have a driver’s license, so the officers believed that the best way to handle the situation was to leave him at the restaurant and have someone pick him up.

Soon after the man was dropped off at the Taco Bell by the officers, the store manager called 911 to complain the intoxicated man. Shortly after this, the man was hit by a car as he walked along Rt. 36/37. He was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.

The negligent parties in fatal car accidents are not always obvious. Occasionally, a third party will bear some culpability. The families of wrongful death victims often have to wait until a full investigation is completed before determining who may be a responsible party. In the meantime, speaking to an experienced wrongful death attorney may be helpful.

Source: The Columbus Dispatch, “Deputies, trooper charged with failure to arrest drunk they left at Taco Bell,” Ally Marotti, Sept. 15, 2012

On behalf of Weisman, Kennedy & Berris Co., L.P.A. posted in Car Accidents on Wednesday, January 2, 2013.

Time cannot heal the painful fracture that results when family members are killed in a fatal car accident. A serious car accident can completely transform the lives of all involved and leave a gaping hole in the ones of those left behind. While tragic at any time, accidents that cause serious injuries or death are even more heartbreaking when they happen during the holidays, whether it’s in Cleveland or elsewhere in Ohio.

Such was the case on Dec. 23 when two minivans carrying two families were involved in a head-on collision. The fatal wreck, which occurred on Interstate 75, left three adults and one child dead. Two other children were left in critical condition, according to the Ohio State Patrol.

One minivan, carrying a family leaving a Christmas party, went the wrong way on I-75 near Franklin, colliding at 2:30 a.m. with another minivan carrying a family on its way to visit grandparents for the holiday. Police suspect that alcohol was a factor in the crash, and investigators reported smelling liquor in the wrong-way minivan.

When families lose a loved one due to the negligence of a drunk driver or distracted driver, they may be entitled to compensation for the loss of companionship and loss of future income. Although no amount of money can heal the wound that is left when a fatal car accident occurs, it can relieve some of the financial burden that the family must also endure.

Source: USA Today, “4 holiday travelers die in Ohio car crash,” Amanda Lee Myers, Dec. 23, 2012.