Negligent drivers are not only a danger to other drivers. When a driver makes the decision to operate a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol, he or she endangers everyone on or near the road - drivers, motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians.
This was the case in a recent accident in Clifton, Ohio. A woman and her 12-year-old daughter were walking down the sidewalk when they were suddenly struck by a vehicle. The car pinned the two victims against a building, causing catastrophic injuries. Both were taken to a hospital. The girl was listed in critical condition with life-threatening injuries. The mother died in the hospital.
Authorities say the accident was caused by a 23-year-old driver in a 2002 Pontiac Grand Am. The driver apparently failed to obey a traffic signal, drove through an intersection and then onto the sidewalk, where he struck the mother and daughter.
Two other people were in the car with the driver. None were wearing seat belts; all had to be extricated from the vehicle. They received minor injuries.
Police say that drugs may have played a role in the fatal accident. If this is true, then the driver could be facing serious criminal charges for driving while under the influence of an intoxicating substance.
In incidents like this one, drivers often face civil actions in addition to criminal charges. Unlike criminal cases, civil cases do not result in jail time or probation; instead, they seek to reimburse injured victims for the physical, financial and emotional losses they have suffered. In a fatal car accident case, a personal injury lawsuit generally compensates the victim's family for final expenses, lost wages and loss of companionship, among other damages.
Source: Cincinnati.com, "Woman dies at hospital after being hit by car" Adam Kiefaber, Jan. 18, 2014