Ralph A. Schwartz, P.C.

17-year-old killed in auto accident by drunk driver

A motor vehicle crash a year ago claimed the life of a 17-year-old girl. The auto accident occurred on a Nevada roadway when a drunk driver crashed into the vehicle the teen was riding in. The driver was sentenced on a recent Thursday after he pleaded guilty to DUI.

The crash happened on Halloween 2013. According to reports, the driver was traveling at an excessive speed at more than 30 mph over the speed limit. He ended up crashing into another vehicle that was carrying a family, including the teen and her 2-year-old son. The teen's uncle and her fiancé's aunt were injured in the crash and were transported to the hospital, but the precise details of their injuries was not released.

The young toddler who was in the vehicle was also injured. In the recent months, the driver entered a plea of guilty to driving under the influence and was sentenced to spend seven to 20 years behind bars. At the sentencing hearing, the driver apologized in hopes of forgiveness from the deceased teen's family.

Auto accident victims, or the surviving families of deceased victims, may experience financial burdens due to medical costs, lost wages and/or other financial losses. Even though the driver has already been sentenced to prison, he may have civil litigation ahead of him. The family of the deceased teen may pursue a wrongful death claim in Nevada to seek recovery of monetary damages caused by the car crash. Proof of the conviction may now be offered as evidence of negligence in any wrongful death claim in court. 

Source: The Republic, "Man, 22, sent to prison in Halloween DUI crash that killed teen mom in North Las Vegas", Oct. 17, 2014

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