When an Alabama driver makes the decision to get behind the wheel under any impairment, a fatal accident may be a harsh possibility. Driving requires a person's vigilance, and being impaired severely reduces that. One man, a veterinarian, faces an abundance of charges after causing a fatal accident last year. In addition to the punishment he could receive from a criminal court, he may also face claims for financial liability if the family decides to commence a lawsuit against the driver who caused this fatal accident for wrongful death.
The driver, a 43-year-old man, was apparently under the influence of narcotics in the form of pain-pills. Although he did have a prescription for them, a prosecutor claimed that he had extremely high doses in his system -- more than a person would need for pain. Allegedly, as a result of the man getting behind the wheel under the influence, he caused a fatal accident.
The man he allegedly killed was a former member of the Secret Service and a member of our United States Coast Guard. He was retired at the time of his death, and he had previously worked as a federal probation officer. The driver who apparently caused this fatal accident has been charged with murder. Prosecutors sought a bail of $250,000, along with significant restrictions, though the court set bail at $50,000 and the prosecutor's request to prohibit the accused man from driving. In addition to the murder charges, the man faces two assault charges regarding others injured in the accident.
Apart from the Alabama criminal proceedings, the family of the deceased man retains the legal right to file a claim against the driver for wrongful death stemming from the fatal accident. Any conviction achieved in criminal court could be useful to the family in a related civil lawsuit based upon negligence. If a murder conviction is ultimately secured, proof of that could strengthen the family's claim for financial liability. If liability is established in civil court, specific demands for monetary damages will be adjudicated by the court.
Source: al.com, "Additional charges levied against veterinarian accused of murder in 2013 west Mobile crash", Michael Dumas, April 8. 2014