Raised medians that divide roadways are put there for a reason. They serve as a reminder to motorists that they are drifting toward the center line when their vehicles "bump" against them, and also prohibit vehicles from turning into businesses at spots where the median is in place. However, these medians aren’t designed to stop drunk drivers from veering into oncoming traffic.
That’s what happened this weekend in Las Vegas, and the resulting accident killed a motorcyclist. Shortly after 2pm on Sunday, a 2012 Ford Focus was traveling north on Nellis Boulevard on the western edge of the Nellis Air Force Base property when it drove over the raised median near the intersection of Cheyenne Avenue. The car slammed head-on into a southbound 2006 Custom Chopper. The 58-year old motorcyclist was reportedly killed on impact, and the 37-year old man driving the Focus was arrested by Metro Police on charges of driving under the influence causing death.
It appears that the surviving family members of the motorcyclist have strong grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit against the car’s driver. A jury could award the plaintiffs the estimated wages that the 58-year old would have earned in his lifetime had the motorcycle accident never taken place, as well as reimbursement for burial expenses and damages for mental anguish and loss of care or companionship. The 37-year old man may be ordered to pay these damages regardless of whether he is convicted on the DUI charge, because the lawsuit would be filed in civil court – whose proceedings are not directly related to the outcomes of cases in criminal court.