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Woman hit by drunk driver on Christmas Eve while checking mailbox

A drunk driving accident that occurred in Houston on Christmas Eve has made one family forget about the traditional holiday celebrations and instead spend the last week clinging to the hope that the wife and mother injured in the crash will survive.

The accident -- which has left the 54-year-old woman unconscious and with a likely brain injury -- happened when the woman was standing outside her home checking her mailbox. An alleged drunk driver heading down the 1800 block of Isom Street left the road and took out a several mailboxes before hitting the woman.

The woman has yet to regain consciousness, according to family members. The accused drunk driver posted bond after spending a short stint in prison. He is now facing charges of intoxication assault because of the woman's injuries, and can be looking at up to 10 years in prison if convicted. He is first due in court in February.

According to court records, 156 drivers in Harris County, which Houston is a part of, were hit with various drunk driving charges during the Christmas weekend. The accident is another tragic reminder of the potentially deadly consequences of driving drunk. The woman's family has said they don't know what the victim's condition will be like if and when she ever wakes up.

And now the family will also be facing a mounting pile of medical bills that they should not be held liable to pay. The family could begin the process of filing a lawsuit against the man for his negligent and reckless actions. And while a criminal conviction does not guarantee a successful personal injury lawsuit, it could strengthen the case.

Source: KTRK, "Court records: Suspected drunken driver plows into homeowner checking mailbox," Jessica Willey, Dec. 29, 2011

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