Drunk driver allegedly threw injured driver's phone into fire

It's common knowledge that driving while intoxicated can impair judgment. However, it's hard to say just how impaired one allegedly drunk driver's judgment was when, after running a red light at a Houston intersection, he struck another car. Then, according to a pending lawsuit, tossed the injured driver's cell phone into the burning car wreck after the victim tried to dial 911.

The accident occurred on April 12, at the intersection between Bellaire Boulevard in Houston and the West Sam Houston Parkway. Although the car is reported to have caught fire, it is not clear whether its driver, the plaintiff in this case, suffered injuries as the result of losing access to his phone.

According to online police records, the defendant was charged with two crimes: interfering with an emergency call, and driving while intoxicated. The plaintiff requested that a jury hear his case and is suing for between $200,000 and $1 million in damages.

Drunk driving accidents are always tragically preventable. According to the plaintiff's claims in this case, insult was added to injury when his attempts to seek help were intentionally sabotaged by the defendant. While it is unclear why he would want to impede the plaintiff's attempt to get help, it is possible that any drunk driver might panic in a stressful situation and make poor choices that reflect their compromised mental state.

Cases such as this one illustrate some of the reasons accident litigation can make the world a safer place for all drivers. If the plaintiff's attorney successfully presents and helps win his case, a cash settlement can compensate for his medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering, as well as other damages related to the accident. When publicity is generated about a drunk driving lawsuit resolution, a strong legal precedent is set against drunk driving. This can also involve the creation of new laws, as well as media campaigns that raise public awareness of the seriousness of driving sober.

Houston Chronicle, "Houston drunk driver threw other driver's phone into burning wreck, suit claims" Carol Christian, Nov. 08, 2013

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