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Drunk driver turns herself in after injuring four

Recently, a 22-year old woman from Haskell, New Jersey turned herself in to local police after fleeing from the scene of the car accident where she injured four people. The car accident occurred when the small car driven by the woman swerved into oncoming traffic and collided with a minivan. Two people in the minivan were injured, as were the woman's two passengers in the car.

According to the woman's passengers, she fled on foot shortly after the accident. A police K-9 search failed to locate the woman, but she soon contacted the police to turn herself in. The four people injured were treated for injuries, and the woman was released of her own recognizance after being charged with four counts of assault with auto, driving while intoxicated, reckless driving, fleeing the scene of an accident and not carrying insurance.

Drunk driving accidents can have a severe impact on their victims. In addition to any injuries or deaths, there is the psychological damage to themselves and to their families and loved ones. There is also the financial burden. The vehicles must be repaired and there may also be lost wages, medical bills and the cost of any disability incurred.

DUI accidents are particularly egregious when the responsible party attempts to flee the scene , as happened in this case. In addition to causing the accident and any injuries or deaths, there is also the attempt to evade responsibility by fleeing. Thankfully, the woman responsible in this case turned herself in, but a drunk driver who remains at large is a danger to the community and a source of pain for the victim and his or her family. However, while the woman will now face charges, the criminal system is not able to provide compensation for the actions of a negligent or reckless driver.

Anyone injured or who has had a loved one injured in a drunk driving accident, however, may be entitled to monetary compensation not only from the defendant or the defendant's insurance company by filing a personal injury lawsuit. While the state will likely move forward with criminal charges, anyone injured in a drunk driving accident is entitled to seek compensation through the civil courts. Pursuing this avenue can help ensure the victims of such accidents receive as much support as possible during what can be a very trying time.

Source: TeaneckPatch.com, "Police: Drunk Driver Fled Route 4 Crash in Teaneck," Noah Cohen, Nov. 12, 2012

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Gary D. Ginsberg is a Certified Civil Trial Lawyer who has been recognized as an expert in litigating cases in the courts of New Jersey.

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