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Pa. man pleads to DUI offenses after killing police officer

There is nothing more heartbreaking and tragic for Pennsylvania residents than to suddenly lose a loved one. When a death occurs because of someone else's bad decisions, it can make a terrible situation even worse.

For instance, a man recently pleaded guilty to homicide by vehicle while under the influence and other DUI offenses after he struck and killed a police officer last year. The man, who had been drinking for hours before he took to the road in a work vehicle, drove in the wrong lane of traffic before striking the officer head-on. The man's blood alcohol content at the time of the fatal accident was more than twice the legal limit in Pennsylvania.

In cases like this, surviving family members can be left searching for answers. They may also be struggling to pay their monthly bills in addition to grieving the loss of a loved one. With the deceased family member's income no longer available to help make these payments, the financial struggles add on top of the already painful and difficult situation.

Fortunately, there are options for surviving family members to hold those individuals who caused the death responsible for their actions. Through a wrongful death action, surviving family members may be able to obtain accountability and compensation for the damages they have suffered due to the loss of a loved one.

Different kinds of damages may be available in the wrongful death action. This includes not only damages to replace the deceased person's income, but potentially damages for other aspects like loss of companionship as well. Accordingly, while the wrongful death action can never replace the lost loved one, it can be an important step family members can take after a tragic accident.

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "Drunk driver who killed Ligonier police officer in crash pleads guilty," Jonathan D. Silver, Sept. 16, 2016

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