People in San Diego may have heard about an unusual accident that occurred in the Mountain View area earlier this month, when a driver struck a man who was directing a funeral procession, causing him serious injuries. The driver then jumped out, abandoning his vehicle at the scene of the crash and escaping on foot.
Nothing implies guilt in the eyes of a jury quite like fleeing after an accident, especially under such strange and erratic circumstances. There are many reasons why a person may try to flee the scene of a car accident, but none of them are very good ones and all of them potentially result in compounded problems for the driver once he or she is located and apprehended. A drunk driver may think that somehow leaving the scene of an accident will prevent a DUI, but instead they’re just setting themselves up for an additional hit and run charge, which can seriously enhance the criminal penalty for a drunk driver, especially when an accident results in great bodily injury or death.
In addition, hit and run drivers could be quite likely to face civil liability if their victims choose to bring a civil lawsuit for negligence. Even if the hit and run driver isn’t technically at fault for the accident, the fact that he or she fled implies guilt and convincing a jury otherwise may be prove difficult.
In this case, the victim suffered head, arm and back injuries, some of which could cause serious and persistent physical problems. A whole funeral procession of people could have witnessed the accident, and the man who was struck may be able to obtain monetary compensation for his injuries, including pain and suffering, medical expenses and lost wages.
Source: AM 760 KFMB “Hit-and-run crash injures motorcyclist during funeral procession,” Dec. 8, 2014