Stripper Charged in DUI that Killed Three Teens
Thirty-one-year-old Mariam Coulibaly has been charged in the deaths of three young teens who were standing at a bus stop. The boys were 13, 15, and 17 years old. The woman sustained injuries herself in the accident and the hearing had been delayed until she recovered. She was granted a $300,000 bond. The boys were heading to a soccer tournament that morning.
The woman was driving on a suspended license after she was caught by a traffic camera running a red light. She now stands accused of three counts of DUI manslaughter and vehicular homicide.
Can the Families Sue the Driver?
The families can sue the woman directly for the deaths of their children. However, there are several pitfalls to this process. In a typical injury case of this sort, the driver’s insurance would cover pedestrian injuries (and deaths) up to the policy limit. In this case, since the driver did not carry any car insurance, the families would have to sue her directly. How would this work?
The families would each file separate wrongful death actions on behalf of the teens. They would allege that the woman’s gross negligence resulted in the death of their children. They would win that lawsuit. Immediately, they would become the equivalent of creditors and the woman would be a debtor. During this period, the woman would have the option of either ignoring the debt, paying the debt, or filing for bankruptcy.
If she chose to ignore the debt, the families would be able to initiate aggressive collections actions against her. These would include levying bank accounts, garnishing wages, and placing liens on property. If she chose to pay the debt, there would be some sort of repayment plan worked out between her and the family. If she filed for bankruptcy, certain assets would be vulnerable to liquidation but, more likely than not, the families would receive nothing in return.
So the answer is, yes, the families can sue the driver, but it often boils down to the question of whether or not it’s actually worth it. In far too many cases, the answer ends up being no.
Suing a Drunk Driver in Florida
In cases where a drunk driver injures a pedestrian or another driver, the injured party can file a lawsuit against the drunk driver (or any driver) supposing their injuries are severe enough. If they have injury insurance, Florida requires that they file a claim against their own policy unless they are “seriously” injured. For serious injuries, the injured party can file a personal injury suit against the drunk driver. This includes amounts in excess of their own PIP policy.
If you are injured by a drunk driver, the crime must have been reported within 72 hours of its occurrence. At that point, you would be eligible to recover damages related to your medical expenses, pain and suffering, emotional trauma, lost wages and more.
Talk to a Vero Beach Traffic Accident Liability Attorney Today
If you’ve been seriously injured by a drunk or otherwise negligent driver, you can recover injuries related to your damages provided that the driver has significant assets on which to draw. The Vero Beach drunk driving attorneys at Vocelle & Berg, LLP will conduct an investigation of the at-fault party and can make a recommendation on the potential success of your claim free of charge.