On Nov. 7, a 37-year-old Bristol woman and a 28-year-old Bluff City woman were injured in a crash that occurred at the intersection of West State Street and Route 126. The women were in a Toyota Sequoia that was stopped at the traffic light.

The Sequoia was reportedly rear-ended by a Chevrolet Avalanche that was being driven by a 41-year-old man from Freeman, West Virginia. The Toyota caught fire after being struck by the Avalanche. Both women were taken to the hospital after emergency personnel responded to the scene.

Authorities suspect that alcohol and drugs were a contributing factor in the accident. The Avalanche driver was taken into police custody on charges of DUI and aggravated assault.

In this instance, the injured women may have some legal recourse to sue for damages which can include medical expenses, reimbursement for time lost from work and/or compensation for pain and suffering. If either of the women suffer a permanent disability that results from the crash, they may consider pursuing a personal injury suit in civil court.

Personal injury claims are not dependent on the conviction of the perpetrator, but negligence on the perpetrator’s part could potentially introduce the consideration of punitive damages as well as compensatory damages into the case. Punitive damages are intended to punish the perpetrator of a crime while increasing any monetary amount awarded as compensation. If a loved one has been injured in an auto accident, consulting an attorney who is familiar with personal injury claims may be a good source for support and guidance.

Source: TriCities.com, “West Virginia man charged in Bristol, Tenn., crash“, Robert Sorrell , November 08, 2014