When a person is a passenger in someone else’s car or truck, the passenger’s safety is in the hands of the driver. If that driver is negligent and that negligence leads to an accident and injury, the driver may be held liable for any injury suffered by the passenger.
Those are likely the circumstances of a car crash earlier this week. It was reported that a driver involved in a single-car accident was charged with operating under the influence of drugs and alcohol. In addition to an OUI charge, the 22-year-old man was charged with a lanes violation and negligent operation. His passenger, who was injured in the rollover accident, is listed in critical condition.
The rollover occurred on northbound Route 3. Prior to the accident, the police had received calls of a driver behaving erratically. When the authorities arrived at the scene of the crash, the car involved was upside down. At some point in the rollover accident, the 27-year-old female passenger was thrown from the car and onto the highway. She was taken to Lahey Hospital in Burlington with serious leg and head injuries.
The authorities stated that the 22-year-old driver had bloodshot eyes, slurred speech and smelled of alcohol. He was treated for injuries and released from Saints Memorial Hospital in Lowell, and subsequently arrested for OUI and other charges. At the time of the news report, he was being held in Essex County jail pending bail and an arraignment.
The prognosis for the woman was not reported, although traumatic brain injuries are among the most serious. In addition to his criminal charges, the driver could be facing a civil lawsuit for his passenger’s injuries, pain and suffering.
Source: MyFoxBoston, “NH man charged with OUI following serious crash,” March 12, 2012