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Woman changes her plea during North Carolina trial

On Nov. 4, 2012, a 54-year-old woman driving a pickup truck ran a red light and subsequently crashed into a Toyota Camry. Her blood alcohol level at the time of the accident measured at 0.10.

This wreck occurred in front of the New Hanover Regional Medical Center, and the victim in the car that was hit was a hospital employee. The driver of the Camry endured multiple injuries and spent several weeks in the hospital. One of the most serious injuries suffered was a fractured skull which required brain surgery.

The trial of the pickup driver recently began in New Hanover County Superior Court, and the defendant faced one count of felony serious injury by vehicle. The woman initially had fled and was being tried in absentia, but she was later found and taken into custody by New Hanover County Sheriff's deputies. Once the woman was back in court, she changed her initial not guilty plea to guilty. The court sentenced the defendant to a period of incarceration of 22 to 36 months.

When a drunk driving accident occurs and victims are seriously injured or killed, the suspect usually faces criminal charges. However, those people hit by a drunk driver may decide to seek the advice of a personal injury attorney. Regardless of what happens in criminal court proceedings, an accident victim of a case such as this might be entitled to compensation for the ensuing damages. An attorney may obtain the investigative reports and help a victim build a civil lawsuit against the drunk driver. If successful, damages could include the costs of medical treatment as well as compensation for lost wages.

Source: WWAY, "Woman convicted of felony charges after accident", Ashley Cimino, Feb. 27, 2015

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