Accident victims Clarence Everett Wood and Mary Wood won a $1.1 million dollar judgment in
drunk driving car accident lawsuit. The plaintiffs sued Huey E. Crocker for causing a
front impact accident. The accident occurred on January 28, 2008 on U.S. Highway 50. Crocker drank heavily before driving his pickup truck. Crocker swerved across the centerline of the roadway and slammed into the Woods’ vehicle head on.
Clarence Wood suffered severe physical injuries. He suffered from a shattered pelvis and an injured knee. Ultimately, the accident victim was billed for more than $237,000 for medical expenses. The medical treatment resulted in a substantial loss of income for the accident victims. Mary Wood sued for her own loss of consortium. The couple sought compensation for their loss as well as punitive damages.
Crocker and his defense attorneys tried to argue against the evidence showing his role as the cause of the
drunk driving accident. The defense argued that the accident victim caused the collision by not wearing a seatbelt and speeding. The defense also attempted to argue that Crocker did not drink before driving. However, Crocker was convicted of driving while intoxicated resulting in injury. Crocker received a five-year sentence for the DUI.
Wood v. Crocker is a good example the types of arguments that defense attorneys make in
car accident lawsuits. Even when the car accident is the result of drunk driving, defense attorneys will attempt to shift blame to accident victim. If the accident victim did not wear a seatbelt, the defense attorneys will attempt to use that fact to decrease the accident victim’s compensation.
The “seat belt defense” is an argument that defense attorneys make when their clients caused an injuries traffic accident. The defense attorney will claim that if the accident victim had worn a seatbelt, the accident victim’s injuries would not have been so severe. In some cases, courts will decrease the accident victim’s award because the accident victim did not wear a seat belt. An accident victim should contact an experienced
car accident lawyer who understands how to combat the seat belt defense.