One of the worst injuries, aside from death, that one can experience from a car accident is that of a spinal cord injury which has the potential to cause life lasting consequences. As many Connecticut residents understand, a spinal cord injury can debilitate someone for life, leaving her paralyzed, with substantial medical bills and the inability to work or work at full capacity. A recent incident in a western state caused a terrible spinal cord injury to one passenger. Somewhat shockingly, the alleged negligent party was an on-duty police officer.
The police sergeant claims to have been pursuing another vehicle on suspicion of drunken driving when he side swiped another car, driven by a 21-year old woman whose sister was the only passenger. The impact killed the driver and left her sister, 19, with a fractured spine and broken hip. The sergeant is now being prosecuted for criminal vehicular homicide.
The facts of such a case could also involve a civil suit of negligence against the defendant. In this incident, while the officer claims to have been in pursuit of another vehicle at the time of the crash, there is no indication he was told by dispatchers to look out for a drunk driver. Further, reports show he logged of the most recent call he made some four hours before the incident.
Civil litigation stemming from the negligent acts of a drunken driver can bring the injured individual or their family the monetary compensation they require to pay medical bills and wage loss. The claim also inspires future deterrence of such negligent acts. While it may be a difficult process to undergo, the relief awarded in the end is often life-altering for the better.
Source: CT Post, “NM police sergeant charged with vehicle homicide,” March 26, 2013.