An Albuquerque judge sentenced a young woman to jail for about three months for her role in a pedestrian accident that left a once athletic woman effectively paralyzed and without one of her legs. The accident happened while the victim was out walking her dog. The victim was on the sidewalk, but the young woman went off the road in her vehicle and slammed into the woman, dragging her a few feet before coming to a stop. The woman had the lower part of one of her legs severed in the car accident, and she also seems to have experienced some sort of nerve damage as well.
Initially, the driver of the vehicle did not receive a traffic citation. However, the local prosecuting attorney eventually convinced a grand jury to indict the woman for felony reckless driving, as there was some evidence that she was on her cellphone at the time of the accident. However, as the case continued to develop, it became more apparent that the driver had been distracted by her radio or something else in the car. She wound up entering a plea of guilty to criminal careless driving.
Without regard to how one feels about the driver’s criminal case, at the civil level, distracted driving is distracted driving. Whether a motorist is texting and driving, adjusting their radio or even just daydreaming, their lack of attention to the road, even for a split second, can leave a pedestrian or other motorist severely injured or even dead.
In this case, a moment of inattentiveness meant a driver struck a pedestrian who was out walking her dog on the sidewalk. The victim is now unlikely to walk again. Serious injuries such as these can change the entirely trajectory of the victim’s life, so it is important to hold the responsible parties liable for the damages the victim suffered.