By Pendergast Law on November 17, 2014
A woman was injured in a Tacoma car accident when the 2004 Honda Accord in which she was riding was struck head-on by a 2011 Toyota RAV4 that was going in the wrong direction. According to a KOMO News report, the wrong way accident occurred on the Interstate 5 in Tacoma. Officials say the 86-year-old driver of the Toyota was under the influence of alcohol when he crashed into a 2008 Dodge Caravan and the Honda Accord. The Tulalip woman in the Accord suffered non-life-threatening injuries. The 86-year-old driver was arrested and booked for DUI and vehicular assault.
Under Washington Statute RCW 46.61.522, “a person is guilty of vehicular assault if he or she operates or drives any vehicleâ€¦in a reckless manner and causes bodily harm or while under the influence of liquor or with disregard for the safety of others and causes harm.” Vehicular assault is a class B felony with serious criminal penalties.
A conviction for vehicular assault will not, however, automatically result in financial compensation for the injured victims. Victims of reckless drivers can pursue support for their pain and suffering, lost wages, medical bills and other related damages by filing a civil personal injury lawsuit.
In such cases, aÂ personal injury claim may be the best way to secure adequate compensation from the at-fault driver. During the claims process, the injured victim will have to show that the at-fault driver was negligent and that his or her negligence contributed to the victim’s pain and suffering.
It is not safe to assume that a drunk driver will accept responsibility for his or her actions or that the insurance companies involved will offer fair compensation without a fight. This is why injured victims of Washington car accidents often need legal guidance. It can prove difficult to interview witnesses, gather evidence, calculate losses and prove liability without the help and counsel of an experienced Seattle personal injury lawyer, who can ensure that fair and full compensation is offered for all of the victim’s injuries, damages and losses.