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Brain-injured victim: Why did drunk driver only get 3 years?

A nurse in British Columbia is having a difficult time accepting the court's decision in a criminal case against the person that caused her brain injury and her friend's death. The drunk driver that caused the deadly crash was sentenced to only three years. Reportedly, this followed a plea bargain in which six charges against him were thrown out in exchange for a guilty plea.

During one overnight shift in Oct. 2014, the nurse and a colleague drove to get coffee when a drunk driver smashed into the side of their vehicle. Reportedly, the collision occurred when he raced through an intersection at 85 km/h. The resulting crash killed the colleague and caused the nurse injuries that have so far prevented her from returning to work. She says she has multiple surgeries since the night of the crash.

After such a traumatic experience, the woman is also struggling to stop mulling over the crash and the loss of a dear friend. Along with that loss, she must cope without income because of her inability return to work. Such circumstances can ruin anybody's financial stability -- causing even more stress and trauma.

Regardless of the outcome of criminal charges against a drunk driver, the victims of such a crash retain the right to pursue financial recovery of damages by filing civil lawsuits. In this case, the brain-injured woman can file a personal injury claim, and the surviving family members of the deceased nurse can file a wrongful death claim. The fact that the drunk driver was convicted may make it easier for them to establish negligence when they seek recovery of financial and emotional damages. They could also utilise the guidance of an experienced British Columbia personal injury lawyer.

Source: CBC News British Columbia, "Vernon nurse injured in deadly crash upset with plea deal", Brady Strachan, Jaimie Kehler, March 21, 2017

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