It’s hard to image losing a spouse of more than 60 years due to the actions of a drunk driver. Sadly this very thing occurred in late 2012. An 80-year-old man was killed in Wisconsin when a vehicle driven by a 58-year-old man struck the vehicle he and his wife were driving in. The younger man, who in addition to having marijuana in his system also had a blood alcohol content of 0.28, ran a stop sign with the vehicle.

The driver faced criminal charges related to the incident. Though he claimed he entered a diabetic coma prior to the incident and had not been drinking, he was nonetheless found guilty and was recently sentenced to 17 years in prison. He will also be subject to 10 years extended supervision.

It is possible he could face a case in civil court as well should the wife of the man who died decide to seek compensation for his death. At the recent sentencing she cried while talking about her husband who she had been in love with since she was 16 years old. She might also seek damages due to the injuries she herself suffered in the crash.

These types of lawsuits are never easy to file and go through. Determining the value of the life of a lost loved one is emotionally difficult. Nonetheless when a case is successful it provides money that is usually welcomed by the person who filed the claim. To navigate these often trying cases it is important to work with an attorney who one feels has a good understanding of the system.

Source: The Pioneer Press, “Wisconsin: 17 years for OWI crash that killed man,” Associated Press, April 11, 2014