A 21-year old girl was killed just outside of Newport, Tennessee when the bicycle she was riding was struck from behind by a car. The accident occurred back in July of 2011, and the man driving the car has just recently pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide by recklessness and driving while under the influence of alcohol.
Under a plea agreement, the driver will face five years of probation, have his driver's license revoked for three years, and perform 800 hours of community service. Though the family of the girl killed is in agreement with the plea agreement, their attorney has also filed a wrongful death lawsuit in federal court.
Unfortunately, the criminal citations can do nothing to alleviate the loss the parents and other family members have suffered as a result of the actions of the driver. It is also unknown whether the driver of the vehicle would even have the financial resources to compensate the family members for any financial loss they have experienced due to this ordeal. However, attorneys can find alternative sources from other parties that may have been responsible for what has occurred, and they can also negotiate with insurance companies to make certain that liability policies are honored.
Civil compensation will not make up for their loss but can possibly help the family pay for the funeral and outstanding medical bills. Also, wrongful death actions can bring a certain amount of closure for family members. Reporting from the trial can tell the family's story concerning their loss, and such a trial can also send a message about the terrible price that can result from individuals getting behind the wheel after they have been drinking.