An Oklahoma doctor will spend over 15 years in prison for his role in a motorcycle accident that took the life of a young father of a small child.
A jury convicted the doctor, who maintained his not guilty plea, of several charges, including driving under the influence and manslaughter. In addition to a lengthy prison term, the court also ordered him to pay over $20,000 in fines.
According to reports, the doctor, who was driving a Mercedes, slammed into the victim’s motorcycle but kept driving on the freeway.
He eventually veered off the road and ran in to a light, but he admitted that he did not stop at the time of the accident. He did not call for help and did not administer first aid.
While hopefully the conviction offers some sense of justice to the victim’s family, it is also important to remember that the purpose of criminal cases are not to ensure that victims get compensation.
In this case, for instance, the fines the doctor was ordered to pay will likely go to the government.
To obtain compensation for their losses, Tulsa victims of drunk driving accidents like this one will need to file a separate personal injury or wrongful death case against the driver.
Even if a drunk driver’s fault is clear, there can still be a lot of wrangling with the other driver’s insurance company with respect to compensation. Victims can be compensated for things like medical bills, lost wages, funeral expenses, and the like. They can also receive compensation for non-economic losses like the value of one’s pain and suffering or emotional anguish.
In drunk driving accidents, punitive damages may also be available.