Although it was a terrible night for Tiger Woods, he was actually very lucky.
The mug shot is humiliating. The dash cam video is worse. Tiger hit a new low with his Driving Under the Influence arrest.
But, it could have been worse. Tiger could have caused a car accident and killed or seriously injured someone. If that had happened, then Tiger would have been looking at serious jail time and a civil lawsuit that could have cost him $100 Million or more in Compensatory and Punitive Damages.
Fortunately for Tiger, there was no alcohol involved. He was tested with a breathalyzer and blew a Zero reading. Unfortunately, the dash cam video demonstrates (and Tiger admits) that he was impaired from the effects of prescription drugs.
Given that Tiger has suffered from back pain for years and has undergone numerous surgeries with the last one taking place several weeks ago, it’s hard to believe that taking pain medication is something new for Tiger and that this was truly “an unexpected reaction to medication.”
Had Tiger been involved in a crash in which someone was seriously injured or died, he would have been in serious criminal trouble and facing a huge Civil Lawsuit by the victim.
Under the law, if someone is under the influence when they cause a car crash, it’s likely that they will be found to have been reckless and, absent a good excuse, they will be liable for Punitive Damages.
Punitive Damages serve the purpose of punishing the person who caused the crash for his reckless and outrageous behavior and deterring him from doing it again. The amount of Punitive Damages that should be awarded depends on the conduct but also on the wealth of the Defendant because it takes a large Punitive Damage award in order to punish a wealthy Defendant.
Given that Tiger Woods has a net worth of hundreds of millions of dollars, it’s probable that a Punitive Damage award against him could have been astronomical.
As a Tiger fan, I hope that this was just a big mistake in medication dosage or that Tiger will check himself into rehab and turn his life around. As a Car Accident Lawyer who helps victims of accidents, I would tell Tiger that he dodged a bullet and had better get his act together.
Tim Rayne is a Pennsylvania Car Accident and Personal Injury Lawyer with the law firm MacElree Harvey. For over 20 years, Tim has been helping accident victims receive fair compensation from insurance companies. Tim has offices in Kennett Square and West Chester Pennsylvania. For a Free Evaluation of your Personal Injury or Car Accident Case contact Tim at 6108400124 or [email protected]