An Arizona family that suffered serious injuries after their car was struck by a wrong-way drunk driver serves as a reminder of the lasting effects of a DUI collision.
Chance Molzan and her mother are just now recovering from their injuries one year after the accident. Molzan's hands were severed in the collision and her leg was broken. Her mother is still struggling with her traumatic brain injury, according to Phoenix's KSAZ-TV.
If the Molzan family decide to file a civil lawsuit against the DUI driver, what kind of damages could they recover?
In a personal injury lawsuit to recover damages for the lasting effects of the DUI collision, the Molzan family could recover compensatory damages. Compensatory damages provide plaintiffs with the monetary amount necessary to cover what they lost due to the accident. However, in order to get compensatory damages, a plaintiff must prove that he or she suffered a legally recognizable harm that can be compensated by money.
Here are some potential compensatory damages the Molzan family could recover:
- Loss of consortium. Loss of consortium refers to loss of love, companionship, sexual relations, and support shared between a married couple. Since the accident, Molzan's mother, Marci, is still struggling with a serious brain injury that makes it difficult for her to focus and complete everyday tasks, according to KSAZ. If the accident impacted the companionship between her and her husband, the couple could recover loss of consortium damages.
- Medical bills. A large chunk of the damages a Phoenix car accident attorney could fight to obtain for the family is payment for their current and future medical expenses. This could include bills and expenses for hospital stays, emergency room treatment, ambulance fees, continued checkups, and procedures. Chance Molzan continues to go to physical therapy to relearn how to run and walk again, despite the large amount of metal in her body, says KSAZ.
- Lost wages. A lasting effect of the DUI collision for Marci Molzan is that she can no longer work due to her brain injury, reports KSAZ. So compensation for loss of earning capacity could be recovered if Marci can prove that her ability to earn money in the future has been diminished by the injuries. The court would look to her age, life expectancy, occupation, past earnings, and experience to determine this amount of damages.
Johnny Bonnie, the drunk driver responsible for hitting the Molzans, is currently serving 10 and half years in prison for the DUI collision, according to KSAZ.
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- FAA Chief Randy Babbitt Arrested for Wrong-Way DWI (FindLaw's Blotter)