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Texas Teen Injured by Drunk Driver Receives Large Settlement

A 17-year-old boy who was left paralyzed after being involved in a fatal motor vehicle accident will receive a settlement worth just under $3 million. The case received national attention after the lawyer for the then-16-year-old boy who caused the accident used an “affluenza” defense to explain his client’s actions.

The accident happened when the 16-year-old boy was driving a pickup truck while intoxicated. The 17-year-old who suffered paralysis in the wreck was his passenger. The truck driver ran off the road and struck a group of people who were attempting to repair a stalled car. The car accident led to the death of four of the people at the accident scene. Law enforcement officials testified that the truck driver had a blood alcohol level that was triple the legal limit at the time of the crash.

When the case went to trial, the attorney for the defendant told the court that his client was suffering from “affluenza,” a condition that he said was caused by a life of entitlement and facing no consequences. Ultimately, the driver was placed on probation and sent to a rehabilitation facility, a sentence that led to some public outcry. Several of the victims in the case have accepted financial settlements while others are moving forward with civil court cases.

Most motor vehicle accidents are caused by driver error, including driving while intoxicated. Individuals who have suffered personal injury or lost a loved one in a traffic accident that was caused by the negligent actions of others may benefit from a legal consultation. An Austin injury attorney could establish the defendant’s culpability in court or negotiate an out-of-court settlement.

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