An Ontario hit-and-run crash victim spoke about her ordeal that started early in the morning of Good Friday six years ago. The brain injuries she suffered changed her life. As a 17-year-old teen, she was with a group of friends heading home after a night out when a car smashed into her.
The victim’s injuries
The driver of the car, a 41-year-old restaurant owner who had been drinking at a neighborhood bar, failed to stop after striking her. After landing on the car’s windshield, she was propelled another 60 feet before hitting the ground. She suffered massive injuries that will likely cause her pain for the remainder of her life.
Doctors said a full recovery was not likely. Another blow was learning that she would never bear children. Therapy to gain mobility and control to her left side continues. Doctors warned that another head injury could be fatal.
She finds it difficult to accept that the hit-and-run driver spent only one year behind bars, after which his life could go on while her suffering continues. His criminal punishment included probation of two years, community service and a driving prohibition.
The victim’s legal rights
Regardless of the outcome of criminal charges against a hit-and-run driver, injured victims typically have the right to pursue financial relief through the Ontario civil justice system. Although the consequences of brain injuries cannot be reversed, a monetary judgment could ease the financial burden of medical expenses, income loss and even emotional damages.