By now, everyone should be aware that drinking and driving can be a lethal combination. Yet every year, far too many people are killed or injured in Pennsylvania due to the negligent actions of drunk drivers. And all of the pain caused by this recklessness is absolutely unnecessary. There is simply no compelling reason for someone to get behind the wheel while intoxicated.

Statistics provide a grim but important reminder of just how serious the issue of drunk driving is on the roads and highways of Pennsylvania. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2013, around 30 percent of all traffic fatalities occurred in accidents involving alcohol-impaired drivers. In raw numbers, this translates to 368 victims who will never return home.

And when we look at statistics covering a longer time period, the numbers become even more somber. The Centers for Disease Control reports that in Pennsylvania, between the years 2003 and 2012, 4,663 individuals lost their lives in drunk driving-related collisions.

And of course, this problem extends well beyond the borders of Pennsylvania. Numbers from the NHTSA indicate that nationwide in 2013, an alcohol-impaired driving fatality took place once every 52 minutes.

Losing a loved one is always difficult. But when the loss was wholly preventable, it is understandable if a victim’s family’s sadness is mixed with anger at the unfairness of it all. If one of your family members was killed in an accident with a drunk driver, your situation may merit filing a wrongful death lawsuit.

An experienced personal injury attorney may be able to help you find a path to justice as well as financial recompense to help you contend with your loss. Based on a variety of circumstances, you could possibly file a suit against the negligent party or pursue appropriate compensation from the insurance companies involved.