In late November of 2015, the Kennedy family lost one of their own – and it was all due to drinking and driving.
Early on the morning of November 21, Texas A&M student Jaten Kennedy was crossing George Bush Drive in College Station when he was struck by a drunk driver. Kennedy was taken to a local hospital, where he died from his injuries late the next day.
The driver, 21-year-old Samuel Huerta, was not arrested on intoxication assault or involuntary manslaughter, as many in his position normally are. Police say Kennedy did not yield right of way when crossing the street, so Huerta was only charged with a DWI instead – a minor charge, considering his actions caused parents to lose their son, siblings to lose their brother, and classmates to lose their friend.
The Impact on the Kennedy Family
Sadly, the loss of Jaten wasn’t the only thing the Kennedy family has had to deal with after the car accident.
DWI car accident fatalities like Jaten’s also come with their fair share of financial costs. On top of the pain, grief and shock his loved ones have had to suffer, they’ve also had to incur lots of debt.
Some of the costs they’ve likely dealt with include:
- Medical costs – Since Jaten was taken to the hospital after the accident, the family likely has ambulance costs, ER care fees, and expenses for diagnostic testing, pain medication or maybe even surgery. These costs can add up fast.
- Funeral and burial costs – Once Jaten passed, his family members also have to cover funeral and burial costs for him. These can sometimes run upwards of $10,000.
- Lost income – Handling a death in the family is never simple. Parents often take time off to grieve, and lots of time is required for planning, executing and attending funerals and burials as well. These can add up to lots of lost income over time, adding even more to the financial repercussions of the DWI car wreck.
To make matters worse, these costs were unexpected. The family couldn’t save for them or make room for them in the budget. They were forced to take funds from elsewhere in order to foot the bill, and that often causes serious financial strife.
What We Would Do
At Franklin Law Firm, we wouldn’t let the Kennedy family cover all these costs on their own. Instead, we would help them get compensation (and justice, since Huerta was only charged with a DWI) by filing a lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
Because there’s a chance Huerta’s insurance may cover many of the costs, since Kennedy was deemed to be jaywalking, it may be difficult to get the insurer to pay up. A lawsuit will make it simpler – leaving the decision up to a qualified judge and jury instead.
A lawsuit could also compensate Jaten’s family for more than what they’re actually due. On top of medical bills, funeral costs and lost income, a successful legal case can also garner the Kennedys cash for pain and suffering or, because the driver was drinking and driving, maybe even punitive damages, which are intended to punish the at-fault party for their wrongdoing.
Either way, a lawsuit against the drunk driver would certainly give the Kennedys the funds they need to stay afloat during this difficult time, as well as cover any residual bills they may have as a result of the death.
In a DWI Crash?
If you or someone you love is ever hurt by a DWI driver in Texas, contact Franklin Law Firm right away. We’ll fight for justice on your behalf, and we’ll get you the compensation you need to get by. Call us now to learn more or discuss your case.