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
Source: USA Today, "Teen paralyzed in 'affluenza' case to receive millions", Todd Unger, May 06, 2014