Alameda Man Charged with Manslaughter in Fatal Hayward Auto Accident

alcohol glass.jpgAn Alameda man was arrested following a hit and run auto accident in which one man was killed in Hayward on January 28, 2011. Juan Nunez was charged with two counts of hit and run and vehicular manslaughter charges. Mr. Nunez is accused of driving his Land Cruiser into the side of a Toyota Tundra causing the driver of that vehicle to loose control and strike a light pole.

Drunk drivers are civilly liable for compensatory damages for personal injuries and wrongful deaths caused by their negligent driving. These damages would include compensation for medical expenses, loss of earnings, loss of earning capacity, and non-economic damages for pain, suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and other non-monetary losses. Drunk drivers may also be held liable for punitive or exemplary damages. These are money damages which are meant to punish the drunk driver. The amount of the punitive damages is not set by law, but is related to the recklessness of the conduct of the drunk driver, and the wealth of the drunk driver.

As an Alameda personal injury lawyer, I have represented many victims of drunk driving. I am also a lawyer on MADD’s panel of attorneys who represent those who are injured or killed by drunk drivers. Over the past several years I have seen that the amount of drunk driving and fatal accidents has gone up and down. Studies have shown that alcohol related fatalities were highest in California in 1982. There was then a steady decline in both the total number of drunk driving deaths and injuries until 1998. After that the trend started upwards again. In 2006, 30% of all auto related deaths involved drunk drivers. As a society, we must do all we can by way of education, and appropriate legal penalties, both civil and criminal, to reduce the numbers of these alcohol related deaths and injuries.

Resources:

Oakland Tribune, Manslaughter, DUI charges sought in fatal Hayward crash, January 28, 2011
Alcohol Alert, California Drunk Driving Statistics

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