Heymann & Fletcher

Driver possibly impaired in car accident that injured officer

It should be no surprise to New Jersey residents that anyone can make a poor life choice by getting behind the wheel of a car after drinking. Many times, the effects of alcohol give the person a false sense of control. Unfortunately, that control is an illusion, and drinking and driving can potentially lead to a fatal car accident.

A poor choice such as drinking and driving could ultimately have consequences. For instance, while a Bergen County Deputy was assisting another officer stopped on Route 46 shortly before 2 a.m., a male driver reportedly slammed into the police SUV, even though it had its emergency lights on. The impact of the crash not only injured the police officer, but it also trapped him within his own vehicle. The 36-year-old high school teacher authorities believe to be responsible for the crash fled the scene on foot, only to be apprehended in a nearby neighborhood.

The badly injured officer reportedly suffered serious injuries to his head and some broken bones. At last report, the hospital listed the officer as being in critical condition. The math teacher and track-and-field coach taken into custody was scheduled to attend a track meet later that same morning.

The injured officer is likely entitled to workers' compensation benefits to help him through his recovery from the injuries that he suffered in this car accident. However, he may also consider filing a personal injury claim against the driver that authorities believe was responsible for the crash. Any conviction secured by New Jersey prosecutors may be offered as evidence of his negligence in a civil action. If negligence is proved in a personal injury lawsuit, the court may award the officer damages such as medical costs, lost wages and pain and suffering.

Source: NBC New York, "Teacher Charged with DWI After Crash That Injured New Jersey Officer: Cops", Sheldon Dutes, April 22, 2014

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