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Many Las Vegas residents rang in the New Year at a party, casino, or club over the weekend. Everyone is hoping for a good beginning to 2012. However, four people had a rough start to the new year after being victimized in a hit-and-run auto accident.

About 2:15am on New Year’s Day, a woman, two teenagers, and an infant were traveling south on Eastern Avenue in a 2000 Volkswagen Passat. Near the intersection of Canosa Avenue (which is two blocks north of St. Louis Avenue), the Passat was struck from behind by a 2004 Cadillac DeVille. The Passat was pushed off of the right side of the road, and the DeVille hit a raised median and rolled over on its roof. The occupants of the DeVille reportedly fled the scene on foot.

The 48-year old female driver of the Passat was taken to Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center, as were a 16-year old girl, a 15-year old boy, and a 2-month old baby. The teen girl was listed in critical condition.

It is important that the driver of the DeVille is identified not only so he or she can be charged with a crime, but also so the four injured occupants of the Passat know who to name as a defendant in any subsequent personal injury lawsuit. This type of suit can allow them to receive reimbursement for hospital expenses (which may already be extensive for the injured teenaged girl). A jury may also award damages to the plaintiffs relating to loss of care or companionship as well as emotional distress.