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I-40 drunk driving accident kills one and injures four

When Knoxville residents think of a drunk driver, they might think of an intoxicated driver who drives too fast, crosses center lines and crashes in the late-night hours. In reality, drunk drivers can be on the road at any time during the day and can cause a wide range of crashes. When an alcohol-related car accident occurs, the results can be minor or tragic. Sadly, a recent wreck on I-40 illustrates the severe dangers posed by drivers who are under the influence.

Recently in Newport, an Ohio woman was driving herself and four others eastbound on I-40 on the way to a family vacation at Disney World. Around 5:15 in the morning, a driver heading the wrong way -- westbound in the eastbound lanes -- slammed head-on into the Ohio woman's vehicle. The accident left the Ohio woman dead and her four passengers injured. Police say that alcohol and drugs were involved in the accident and ordered blood tests from the errant driver.

A wreck like this is tragic, and has left a family physically and emotionally devastated. Additionally, the victims of an accident like this one will likely face severe financial constraints. Medical bills, rehabilitation and therapy and pain and suffering can build to an unbearable, unmanageable mountain of debt.

Legal action, however, can ease these burdens. If victims of an accident like the one in Newport can show that the responsible driver was negligent and that the negligence caused the victims' injuries, then financial recovery is likely. Compensation can then be used to help cover medical expenses, pain and suffering and lost wages. When a victim dies as a result of the accident, a wrongful death suit may be filed by surviving family members.

Many times, a drunk driving accident causes serious injuries or death. While criminal charges can punish these irresponsible drivers, only civil action can get victims the compensation they need and deserve.

Source: Knoxville News Sentinel, "Family vacation to Disney ends in tragedy," Lance Coleman, Dec. 1, 2012

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