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A Business Major, A Superb athlete, An aspiring model. Sean's  perfectly set life was about to turn around on that fateful night.

It was the Saturday night before the Easter Sunday, 2005. Sean was drinking with his friends and was going home with a friend Ryan McDaniel. Sean knew he was too drunk to drive but so was Ryan who was dropping him home.

Ryan's car hydroplaned and crashed into a tree, he fled from the scene and Sean was left with a brain injury that left him unable to move, to take a bath, to simply walk or talk even. He had lost his voice also in the accident. Life-turned upside down for this 22 year old.

Jacqueline Saburido, a student from Venezuela had come to Texas to learn English during her college break. An Engineering student she wanted to help her father run his air-conditioning business , but first she wanted to learn English.

On the September 19 night she along with her friend Natalia Bennett and two others were headed home from a birthday party at Austin at 4:00 am. Before they could realize anything a car came and banged into their car head on. Natalia and Laura Guerrero died on the spot. Jacqui suffered from third degree burns in the crash- burns that scorched her eyes and made her blind, that melted away her hair, took her ears, nose, lips eyelids, fingers and rendered her hands useless.

Jacqueline is just not the same Jacqueline anymore. The accident left  her physically deformed and mentally scarred forever.

Drunk Driving

Drunk Driving has become a massive threat to society, a threat that causes 17,000 deaths each year, 300 deaths each week and 45 deaths each day.

Alcohol induced accidents have become the leading cause of death for young Americans between the ages of 16 and 24.

Why do We Drink and Drive?

Drunk Driving starts with the false belief and intention, people assume of themselves that they won't drink too much.

From there it moves to overestimating one's capacity. Even one glass of any alcoholic beverage affects our motor and cognitive functions and then there are people who even after 4-5 round of drinks insist they can drive absolutely safely because they have driven safely earlier.

Why would we do that? Endanger our own and others' lives.
Yet we do that, because a drunk man who opts to drive understands neither limit nor capacity.

Peer pressure or overconfidence,whatever the reason, alcohol and driving make a deadly combination. Surveys reveal that males are more prone to drinking and driving than females.

What is scarier is that it is estimated that 3 out of every 10 Americans will be involved in an alcohol related incident in their lifetime.

Sean and Jacqueline were innocent victims, two faces in a sea of victims whose lives have been destroyed in an accident in which they had no fault but were paying  a price because somebody else decided to drink and drive.

Drinking depresses your brain, you cannot function properly after drinking so:-

● Think from before what arrangements can be made when you know you won't be able to drive later.

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It is very difficult to come to terms with the loss of a loved one. Families go through a terrible phase while coping with such a huge tragedy in their lives. When a person's life is lost to due to the careless and negligent action of others, it can become even more difficult to deal with the pain and loss. Even when families do come out of the grief, the sense of unfairness and injustice to their lost member prevails. But it doesn't have to be that way. With some legal help, one can expect to get relief to some extent by suing the responsible party. Read on to know more.

What is Wrongful Death?

When a person loses his/her life due to the negligent and wrongful actions of another person or entity (defendant), it is said to be a wrongful death. In such cases, the surviving family members of the deceased have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit against those responsible for the death. This type of a lawsuit seeks to provide compensation to the survivors for their loss. The compensation could be in keeping with lost wages, funeral expenses and even lost companionship. This may vary from state to state as each state has its own wrongful death laws.

Who can file the Lawsuit?

The deceased person's surviving family members can sue for wrongful death. They would be called the "real parties in interest." The claim has to be filed by a representative of the real parties in interest. Again, the laws and exactly which members of the family can be included in the real parties of interest may differ from state to state. Some of those people could be:

● Immediate family members: The immediate family members could be the decedent's parents, spouse and children - biological or adopted. This is true for all states.

● Distant family members: In some states, the brothers, sisters and grandparents can file for the claim.

● All financial sufferers: In some states, all parties affected financially (for care and support) by the victim's wrongful death can sue the responsible person, even if they are not related by blood or marriage to the victim.

● Life partner/putative spouse: In some states, a life partner who was financially dependent on the decedent or a putative (generally considered or reputed to be) spouse can claim compensation.

● Parents of deceased fetus: In most cases, parents can claim wrongful death action only if the child was born alive and died later due to negligence. However, some states allow the death of a fetus to also become the foundation of a wrongful death claim.

Who can be sued?

A case of wrongful death can be claimed against a person responsible for the victim's death, a company responsible for the death, government agencies and employees responsible for the death. Depending from state to state, government agencies and employees can be given immunity against such cases. A wrongful death can occur due to various reasons - death due to medical malpractice, death due to criminal behavior, death due to occupational exposure to harmful conditions and substances, death due to an automobile or airplane mishap, and death during a supervised activity.

What are the types of damages that can be claimed?

There are three types of damages that can be claimed by the decedent's survivors:

● Economic damages: These refer to the value of the financial contributions that the victim could have made to the survivors had he/she been alive. Additionally, it also includes loss of victim's expected wages, loss of victim's pension and medical benefits, victim's funeral expenses, loss of an inheritance due to the victim's untimely death and value of goods and services the victim could have provided were he/she alive.

● Non-economic damages: These refer to the non-financial aspects like damages for survivor's pain and emotional turmoil, loss of care/support/protection/advice/guidance from the decedent, loss of love, society and companionship from the decedent and loss of consortium from the decedent.

● Punitive damages: Depending from state to state, these damages can be recovered by the defendant  who has displayed a bad conduct. In some cases, the victim's survivors can also get reimbursed for the costs they incurred for bringing in the claim. Some states also have a provision for the payment of interest on the damages to the survivors from the time it starts to the time it is collected.

The loss of a loved one can cause irreparable damage to a family. No amount of compensation or reimbursement can make up for the loss incurred. However, it is important to bring all those responsible for the loss to justice for the survivor's peace of mind. Bringing in wrongful death claims can also help in decreasing the number of the same kind of unfortunate incidents.

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If you have an injury resulting from another person’s actions or negligence, it would be a good idea to get in contact with a personal injury lawyer. Some might say that personal injury lawyers are sharks out to make a quick buck off of unsuspecting victims, but that is hardly the case.

Personal injury lawyers’ main job is to represent you in court so that you are not taken advantage of by negligent parties, companies, or insurance adjusters. It turns out, they are a little afraid of personal injury lawyers, and here’s why:

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Many people believe that they have an understanding of how the worker's compensation system works, but there are actually several nuances that can be quite confusing if a person doesn’t actually work on the inside of this industry. For instance, many people think that car accident injuries and losses would be covered by car insurance policies, but in actuality, there are some cases where worker's compensation insurance will cover these accidents. It’s important for every employee to know these instances so they don’t lose out on due compensation. 
Business Injury Versus Non-Business Injury

Many individuals fail to realize just how important it is to know what type of claim they have when injured in an automobile accident. This is because some types of insurance will deny a claim flat out in some cases. Worker's compensation insurance, for instance, will only cover injuries sustained in a vehicular wreck if the accident was related to work in some way. 

Auto insurance companies, on the other hand, often deny claims when they find out that a person was using their personal vehicle for business purposes. Each case is going to be different, but the one thing that remains the same is the fact that insurers don't like providing compensation when either they don't have to or when another insurer may be liable. 

There are actually several instances though, where a person may have a worker's compensation claim after being involved in an auto accident. Knowing the occurrences when they're covered, and the ones when they're not, will make life much easier after debilitating event. Here are four instances of when compensation is due from your place of work after an auto accident:

1. Running an Errand for Work

Worker's compensation claims are meant to cover injuries sustained at work. When a person is running an errand for their employer, this is considered a form of work. An employee injured in a car crash while running these errands will most likely be able to receive benefits, especially with the help of someone like an MA or NY auto accident attorney. 

2. Traveling on Business

Many people believe that they're not covered when traveling for business trips, though this belief is incorrect. A person can consider traveling for business the same as the aforementioned "running an errand for work"; it just so happens that the errand is out-of-town work. 

3. Driving to or from Work

Unfortunately, most individuals will not be able to collect worker's compensation benefits if they're injured in a vehicular crash while commuting to or from work. There are, however, a few exceptions to this rule. A person who is handling a work errand while driving home, for instance, may be able to receive benefits. This is one of those grey areas that an attorney may be able to help you illuminate.

4. Mandatory Company Events

Driving to and from mandatory company events may be considered working, therefore a crash during this time could be considered in your worker's compensation case. These events could include team meetings or company barbecues; the main factor is that the injured party must have had a reasonable belief that their employment was contingent on attending the event. 

Worker's compensation is meant to ensure that employees are taken care of in the event of an accident while on the job. It's not always necessary for a person to sustain their injury on company property to be reimbursed though, and it's important to realize that contacting a worker's compensation lawyer or filing a claim isn't some sort of con to get undeserved money. Many accidents result in hospital bills, lost time from work, and even long term injuries; so any accident involving work, regardless of on-site or in a vehicle, should be taken very seriously.

Saam Banai is a freelance writer and editor, and he has also worked (as safely as possible) for a store that delivers sofas to Boston, Rhode Island, and New York. At the Perecman firm, you can find a NY auto accident attorney that will help you fight for your worker's compensation in the event that you are injured while driving on the job. Their experience and passion from years litigating auto accident cases, including head-on collisions and hit-and-runs, have led them to recover millions for their clients.  

Originally Posted by Saam Banai on Saturday, 09 March 2013 in Accident Law at Lawyer Blogs
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