November 2, 2014- Hanover County, Va.
Jennifer L. Higgs, age 38, was arrested and charged with driving under the influence after her vehicle struck and injured a Richmond Times-Dispatch newspaper carrier early Sunday morning.
At approximately 1:30 AM on Bell Creek Road near Brandy Branch, Katherine Jackson, age 63, was getting out of her car deliver a paper. At that time, a 2002 Chevrolet traveling in the same direction struck Ms. Jackson and her parked vehicle. Ms. Jackson’s hazard lights and yellow beacon were on and operational at the she was hit.
Ms. Jackson was taken to VCU Medical Center with severe but non-life threatening injuries.
Victims of pedestrian accidents often end up facing long recovery periods or even permanent disability. Whether Ms. Higgs is found guilty of the charges against her, Ms. Jackson can hold Ms. Higgs liable for medical expenses, emotional trauma, and pain and suffering.
In Virginia, legal intoxication begins at 0.08 BAC (blood-alcohol content). However, at an intoxication level of 0.15 BAC, victims of drunk drivers can seek punitive damages.
Alternatively, the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act provides an exclusive remedy for compensation to workers who are injured on the job. For her injury to be compensable under the Act, Ms. Jackson will have to establish a causal connection between the injury and the conditions of her workplace – the injury must be by accident, it must arise out of employment, and it must occur during the course of employment.