Family Awarded More than $2 Million in Wake of DUI Accident

August 16, 2014 by
Family Awarded More than $2 Million in Wake of DUI Accident. Motor vehicle accidents involving pedestrians can be devastating. However, when a driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol when an accident occurs, the results can be even worse. In this case, a teenage girl was hit and killed by a drunk driver in such an accident.

On August 19, 2004, at 10:00 at night, a female teenager was crossing Street Road in Bensalem, Pennsylvania. As she crossed, she was struck by a vehicle. The driver of the vehicle fled the scene and did not stop to help the victim. The teenage girl died of her injuries. When the driver of the vehicle was finally apprehended, it was found that he was intoxicated and he was driving with a suspended license. He was taken into custody by the police on multiple charges, including DUI.

The deceased’s mother filed suit against the defendants in her own name and in the name of her daughter’s estate. The defendants in the case were the driver of the vehicle (Kirk T. of Philadelphia) and the owner of the vehicle (Donald W.). Kirk T. was charged with multiple crimes after the accident. In 2005, he pled guilty to DUI and leaving the scene of an accident involving death or personal injury. He was sentenced to three to six years in a Pennsylvania state prison for his crimes. Neither of the defendants appeared in court to plead their cases. Furthermore, neither defendant had their counsel present in the matter. Because of that, the case was decided as a bench trial.

In the end, the court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs. After a one-day trial, the judge issued a bench verdict. In it, the judge ruled that Kirk T. owed the plaintiffs $600,000 in punitive damages, and Donald W. owed the plaintiff $150,000 in punitive damages. The judge also ruled that both defendants together owed $1.5 million in survival action damages and $697,749.92 in wrongful death damages. The plaintiffs were awarded a total of $2,947,749.92 in damages.

The accident that brought about this case is especially tragic because it might have been avoided if the driver of the vehicle had not been intoxicated at the time. The judge in the case made the right decision by ruling in favor of the plaintiffs. The young girl who was killed in the accident was struck down in her prime. Although her family will never get their loved one back, they were rightfully awarded for the pain and suffering they endured.

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