The sudden and unexpected loss of a loved one can be a difficult thing to handle. At a time of emotional turmoil for surviving family members, these individuals are forced to consider the oftentimes grim reality of their newfound financial situation. No one wants to think about money in the immediate passing of a loved one, but a personal injury lawsuit could provide much needed financial relief and a sense of justice and closure.

According to recent reports, one Phoenix family may need that help now after their loved one was killed by an alleged drunk driver. According to reports, a 20-year-old man veered onto the sidewalk near 37th Street, hitting a 35-year-old man. Despite being rushed to the hospital, the victim succumbed to his injuries. The errant driver initially fled the scene and ditched his vehicle, only to later return to the scene. He was subsequently taken into custody on multiple criminal charges, including manslaughter and DUI.

The criminal investigation into this matter may take some time, but the truth of the matter is that even if the accused individual beats his criminal charges he may still be held liable in civil court for wrongful death. This is because criminal and civil matters are separate, each with a different burden of proof. The burden of proof is lower in civil court than in criminal court, which means that an individual can win a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit even if a defendant was acquitted on related criminal charges. Of course, a criminal conviction can go a long way toward supporting a civil lawsuit. All of that is to say that grieving families may be able to take legal action on their own to impose accountability.