In recent years, a 33-year-old Rogersville resident was sentenced after pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter in the death of 84-year-old William H. Hughes of Seymour. Chad Lee Bybee was the drunk driver that caused a wreck in October of 2013 that left Mr. Hughes dead, and two children injured. The children were the daughters of Bybee who were passengers in his vehicle, according to news reports at St. Louis Post-Dispatch. News reports do not state the extent of his daughters’ injuries. Bybee was found guilty as a drunk driver when the pickup truck he was driving struck Mr. Hughes’ Chevrolet Impala head on.
Court documents indicate that Bybee’s BAC (blood alcohol content) was .190 when he was given a breathalyzer test more than three hours after the accident occurred. This is more than twice the legal limit of .08. Bybee was initially charged with vehicular assault, but pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and was sentenced to 12 years in the Missouri Department of Corrections. This is a tragic and unfortunately all too common outcome when someone chooses to drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Individuals who drive impaired commonly face criminal charges for driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI).
Expenses Caused by Drunk Driving
However, one issue that is often not addressed by the press is what happens to compensate the families of the victims. The sad truth is that families of the loved ones who are killed or injured are often limited to what they can collect from the drunk driver’s insurance. While the drunk driver may have insurance, it is often inadequate to pay for the harms they have caused. If there is insurance, the drunk driving victim or their family may be entitled to collect compensation for their losses, including the costs of medical, funeral, burial, loss of income, and other damages such as past lost wages, future lost income, future medical treatment, emotional distress, pain and suffering, cost of medical devices. In order to prove those costs and expenses, a life-care planner may be used to determine what expenses the injured person may face throughout their lifetime.
Another avenue of compensation is your own automobile insurance policy. If the injured person has Underinsured Motorist (UIM) coverage it can cover additional losses not paid by the defendant drunk driver’s policy, based upon applicable policy limits.
Early investigation of the drunk driver is critical. In doing so, you can determine if the individual who was intoxicated was acting in his capacity as an employee at the time of the collision or had been over-served alcohol by a bar or restaurant. Either of those situations may give the injured person the ability to collect a much larger sum of insurance proceeds to cover their past, present and future losses and damages.
We Protect Your Legal Rights
At Griggs Injury Law, LLC, we are Kansas City drunk driving accident attorneys who are dedicated to protecting the legal rights of those who are injured or killed by drunk drivers. Our attorneys are experienced in the investigation of these accidents, using science to prove the driver was drunk, and holding any other negligent party accountable for their actions. Contact our aggressive legal team who will fight to hold accountable those who were negligent and who chose to get behind the wheel of their car and drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. It is vital that victims are given the ability to fight for justice and to recover the damages they deserve.