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Fatal car accident takes the life of a Louisiana man

All too often, Louisiana residents get a reminder that their roads can be deadly. Recently, a 21-year-old Louisiana man was killed after a truck hit the car he was driving.

Police said the truck's driver had been drinking and driving when he struck the man's car. The 21-year-old Berwick man was rushed to a hospital, where he died from his injuries. Also in the car was the man's girlfriend, who suffered minor injuries.

The allegedly drunk driver has been charged with first-degree vehicular negligent injuring.

A criminal charge serves justice, but does not help with costs imposed on the family when a person kills another person through negligence. The law provides another avenue by which the man's family can recover for the medical expenses incurred at the hospital, funeral expenses, and other costs and losses: A wrongful death lawsuit.

A wrongful death lawsuit is filed by the personal representative of the deceased's estate on behalf of the deceased's immediate family members. When a person has been killed because of another's carelessness, the negligent person may be forced to compensate the family for their monetary losses. Similarly, the family of a person who was murdered may file a wrongful death lawsuit against the person who intentionally killed their loved one. The money awarded in wrongful death lawsuits goes to the deceased's estate and is distributed according to the deceased's will or state law.

Fatal car accidents bring heartbreak and huge expenses. The law provides some solutions to help a grieving family recover from this emotional and financial devastation through a wrongful death suit.

Source: KATC.com, "Berwick man dies from injuries sustained in wreck," Melissa Canone, Oct. 29, 2012.

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