The Natchez Trace Parkway is, without a doubt, the most scenic highway in the Nashville area. It's a good way for Tennesseans to get to or from Mississippi, and to enjoy the beauty of an historic Native American trail while they're at it. However, it has its drawbacks. The Parkway is administered by the National Park Service, and that means that during the recent government shutdown its rest stops and other roadside stops and services were closed. And of course, like any other roadway in Tennessee, it has its careless drivers.
Recent reports noted that a woman accused of causing an accident that seriously injured another driver on the Natchez Trace Parkway this past April was set to plead guilty to drunk-driving charges related to the accident. The woman had previously pleaded not guilty, but as of this writing she was scheduled to change her plea. Her case will be heard in federal court because the accident occurred on National Park land.
According to the indictment, the accident permanently disabled the victim's left leg.
The criminal justice system, whether it's in state or federal court, has an important role to play in the aftermath of a drunk driving accident. It's important for the public to know that justice will be done to those who break the law and endanger public safety. However, criminal trials have special standards of proof and other issues that often leave those who have been hit by a drunk driver feeling less than satisfied.
It's important to remember that personal injury lawsuits serve the cause of justice in their own way. Tennessee residents who are injured in an accident caused by another driver's negligence may be compensated for medical expenses, lost wages and other damages through a personal injury lawsuit. Drivers act negligently when they fail to exercise the same level of care that a reasonable person would under similar circumstances. Driving while drunk can be very strong evidence toward showing negligence.
Source: Gulf Live Mississippi, "Guilty plea expected for woman in DUI crash on Natchez Trace," Oct. 4, 2013