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Impaired Wrong-Way Driver Faces Liability

A 21-year-old Tennessee man was killed in a collision on U.S. Highway 411 by an allegedly impaired driver driving in the wrong lane. The car accident also injured the decedent's pregnant wife and toddler.

Around 10 p.m. on a Friday night, the man was driving his family home when the car was struck head-on by another car traveling the wrong way down the highway. Two minors, who were passengers in the car with the wrong-way driver, were not wearing seat belts and were injured. Police say the driver was impaired. The driver may face multiple criminal charges.

Though she was injured, the victim's wife did not suffer the loss of her pregnancy. She plans to name her child after her husband.

In Tennessee, the spouse of the victim has the right to sue for a wrongful death. The spouse can claim damages as well as loss of consortium. The term consortium applies to the general companionship, help, and services that a spouse would have provided. In addition, this mother could sue on behalf of her minor child for compensation. Damages are awarded according to the percentage of fault that is assigned to the plaintiff and defendant. For example, if a plaintiff is found to be 10 percent at fault, he would be awarded 90 percent of the total damages assessed.

In the case of a fatal motor vehicle accident in Tennessee, it's important for victims to determine if they have the legal standing to sue for wrongful death on behalf of the decedent. A lawyer is a good resource for making sure that you claim all the damages that you are entitled to collect under the law.

Source:, "Family mourns loss of Tellico Plains man killed by impaired driver," April 22, 2013

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