When getting behind the wheel of a vehicle, a reasonable duty of care is assumed for others on the road. A man may have breached this duty after causing a car accident in Wisconsin that injured three people. The 34-year-old man is facing criminal charges after crashing into a terrace and hitting a tree. After the car accident the man was administered a field sobriety test, which he failed.
He was driving his vehicle last October when he allegedly mistook the gas for the brake as he attempted to avoid another car accident. The man lost control of his van, causing it to hit a terrace until finally striking a tree, where it stopped. He informed officers he was taking several prescriptions including Alprazolam, Oxycodone and Carisoprodol. After the sobriety test, the man offered a blood sample and the results showed he was under the influence of drugs as well as THC when the crash occurred.
Prosecutors have charged him with operating while intoxicated, causing injury with a minor in the vehicle and operating under the influence of a controlled substance. This is not the man's first brush with the law in Wisconsin. He has been arrested for OWI two times prior to the current charges.
The injuries the victims sustained are unknown and there was no indication of any hospital transports. Although it appears that some of the persons injured in the accident may have been in the car, it is also possible that at least one could have been a bystander. If they were passengers, a civil personal injury claim may focus on whether they knew the driver was under the influence of drugs. Of course, if the victims were mere bystanders injured by the negligence of another, their claim for monetary reimbursement would likely be stronger.
Source: Green Bay Press Gazette, "Man charged in crash that injured 3," Russell Plummer, May 5, 2012.