A woman who is accused of stealing a car crashed the vehicle into a construction site, injuring two workers, according to police reports. The woman crashed into the work area at Charleston Boulevard and Eastern Avenue, causing the two victims to sustain broken bones. They were transported to University Medical Center for treatment and are expected to recover.
Police reported that the woman was fleeing officers who were attempting to stop her for failing to stop at a traffic sign and driving on the wrong side of the road. It is unclear where she stole the car. The driver was also taken to the hospital and was booked there for DUI.
DUI and Crime Statistics in Traffic Accidents
Many serious accidents occur in the commission of a crime, whether the driver is fleeing the police or driving under the influence of alcohol. According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control, at least 30 people per day are victims of drunk driving fatalities. Additionally, at least one person a day is killed in a police chase, according to Pursuit Safety. One-third of these victims are innocent bystanders.
Clearly, there is a connection between criminal activity and death rates due to car accidents. However, criminal penalties do not provide the victims of these accidents with compensation for their injuries. In fact, the criminal justice system and the civil courts are totally separate and have nothing to do with each other.
Civil vs. Criminal Penalties
Criminal courts can impose penalties on those who break the law. In order to be convicted, a person must be shown to be guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt.” This means that, even when it is fairly certain someone committed a crime, that person may not be convicted. Additionally, whether a person is convicted or not, victims of a crime often remain uncompensated for their injuries.
On the other hand, a civil case allows victims to sue for monetary damages. These damages will allow the victim to pay medical bills and other expenses and will compensate him or her for losses sustained in the accident. Furthermore, the burden of proof in a civil courtroom is different than that of a criminal court. Jurors must only weigh the facts and come to a conclusion based on “preponderance of evidence.” This means that a civil jury can find someone liable much more easily than a criminal jury can find someone guilty.
If you have been injured in an accident as the result of a criminal activity, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Bernstein & Poisson in Las Vegas for help.