An Elkhorn, Wisconsin mother is trying to pick up the pieces after being injured in a drunk driving car accident that occurred on Jan. 25 on North Washington Street. A 50-year-old man previously convicted of drunk driving on multiple occasions is accused of striking the woman’s 2002 Dodge Intrepid after he was released from a local jail on another drunk driving charge. He is a felon who was just arrested on Jan. 23 for his fifth DWI offense. Freed on $1,500 cash bail within 24 hours, he was again arrested for causing the collision on Jan. 25.
The woman injured two discs that shifted in her back. She has been attending physical therapy for the injuries sustained in the car accident and will have to continue seeing a therapist until the beginning of March. She says the pain makes it difficult to perform tasks that were once easy. She also has been unable to sleep because she relives the accident and hears the glass of her car shattering.
The accused man was on probation. An apparent communication failure between different branches of law enforcement led to his release from jail. On the day of the Jan. 25 car accident, the man purportedly ran a stop sign, striking the Elkhorn woman’s vehicle. Her car then collided with a light pole, and she was forced to exit the vehicle by crawling out of a broken window. The man fled the scene of the accident but was later apprehended. The assistant district attorney expects the man will face additional charges.
Questions remain as to why the man, convicted of multiple DWI offenses, was released from jail and allowed on the road again. An error in his paperwork appears to be the reason. The police department said that if documents had noted the man was on probation, he likely would not have been released. The victim wants harsher drunk driving laws in hopes that no one else will have to go through what she has endured.
Nevertheless, Wisconsin law provides for the right of an individual injured by the negligence of another to pursue a personal injury claim for monetary damages. Such damages typically include medical expenses, lost time from work as well as financial remuneration for pain and suffering. In instances where the actions of the negligent party are deemed reckless, punitive damages may apply as well for the egregious conduct.
Source: Lake Geneva News, “Drunken driver crashes into Elkhorn mom,” Rob Ireland, Feb. 8, 2012