The summer weather in Florida invites outdoor enthusiasts to take to the woods to ride their ATVs on the challenging trails. Unfortunately, not all participants recognize the risks of doing this while impaired by alcohol or drugs. Operating such a vehicle while under the influence could lead to wrongful death claims against the driver if passengers are killed in accidents.
One such an accident occurred on a recent Monday morning. According to an accident report prepared by Florida Highway Patrol, an 18-year-old man was the driver of an ATV that could accommodate two passengers. His passengers were two males, ages 20 and 22. FHP says the driver was riding the ATV backward down a slope and smashed it into a tree. The 22-year-old passenger was ejected upon impact, and he landed up underneath the ATV that had rolled over.
The driver and the other passenger reportedly pulled the injured man from under the ATV and took him to a residence before calling 911. Paramedics rushed him to a medical facility, where the victim later succumbed to his injuries. FHP reports that the ATV driver appeared intoxicated, and he failed a field sobriety test. He was later arrested, and he is now facing DUI manslaughter charges.
The family of the deceased ATV passenger will be allowed to seek financial relief through the Florida civil justice system. The DUI charges might be used as evidence in the plaintiffs' cases for compensation to assist with the costs of end-of-life arrangements, lost income, and other economic and noneconomic damages. The support and guidance of an experienced personal injury and wrongful death attorney can increase the chances of a successful lawsuit and maximum monetary compensation.