A college nursing instructor in Las Cruces was the victim of a car accident on the first day back to class after the holidays. The 53-year-old woman suffered severe injuries in a pedestrian accident on the campus of New Mexico State University.

Campus police said the victim was making her way through a crosswalk at a campus intersection controlled by stop signs. The vehicle that hit the Doña Ana Community College instructor apparently stopped and was moving slowly at the time of impact, according to investigators.

The pedestrian accident victim was transported to an El Paso hospital where relatives say her condition is critical. The nursing instructor's husband stated his wife suffered head trauma and was placed on life support.

School officials and students said the accident victim is a highly-respected member of the community college faculty. The woman was praised for her work in helping the DACC nursing school re-establish national accreditation.

The well-liked nursing instructor may not survive the injuries she received. So far, authorities have not issued any traffic citations or pressed charges against the driver -- an unidentified female student-worker at NMSU.

Campus police reports indicate that the driver appeared to do nothing wrong leading up to the accident. A vehicle entering a crosswalk when a pedestrian is clearly still using it is a violation of the walker's right-of-way.

A "low speed" accident is no indication that a pedestrian's injuries are minor. A fall onto a hard pavement or collision with a windshield can produce irreversible brain injuries.

Compensation for accident-related injuries and deaths is available through a civil court. Damages received in a personal injury or wrongful death claim depend upon evidence of neglect.

An attorney can describe the preparation necessary for a civil lawsuit and realistic outcome from a claim. Defendants in civil cases are often insurance companies whose coverage limits are challenged. Settlements are alternatives to jury trials.

Source: lcsun-news.com, "DACC instructor remains on life support after crash," James Staley, Jan. 21, 2013