Motorcyclist Killed by Drunk Driver in King County

By Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. on April 16, 2014

A 40-year-old Tukwila man was killed when a driver who officials say may have been impaired crashed into his motorcycle. According to a news report in The Seattle Times, the fatal motorcycle accident occurred in the 400 block of Southwest 156th Street in Burien. Officials have not released information on how the motorcycle and car collided. The motorcyclist was pronounced dead at the scene. The car’s driver was treated for minor injuries before being booked for vehicular homicide. A second motorcyclist sustained minor injuries trying to avoid the collision.

Drunk driving continues to be a serious problem in Washington State. In fact, Mothers Against Drunk Driving reports that Washington ranks 25th in the nation for the highest number of drunk driving fatalities. Furthermore, there were 156 traffic deaths involving alcohol in Washington in 2011.

There is no question that alcohol can affect your judgment as well as physical and mental abilities. Drivers are more likely to cause an accident while under the influence because their motor functions, ability to focus, and judgment are impaired. Motorists who drive under the influence (DUI) put everyone on the roadway at risk and they can be held accountable for the damages they cause.

Under Washington State Statute 46.61.250, a driver can face vehicular homicide charges if the victim dies “within three years as a proximate result of injury proximately caused by the driving of any vehicle” and the driver was behaving in a reckless manner or with disregard for the safety of others. A criminal conviction, however, will not automatically result in financial compensation for the DUI victim’s family.

The family of a deceased DUI victim in Washington can hold the at-fault driver accountable for their losses by filing a wrongful death claim seeking compensation for damages such as medical and funeral costs and lost future income. An experienced Seattle personal injury lawyer will be able to help families protect their rights and best interests.

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Written by Joseph Pendergast, this book is designed to help people who have suffered a personal injury understand their rights and the steps to take to be sure they get the compensation they deserve.

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