A St. Joseph man has been charged with a crime for allegedly causing a car accident on purpose. The situation highlights what can happen when a car crash was deliberate, rather than an act of negligence.
Pedestrian Hit by Car
The incident occurred on the night of April 9, 2018. According to reports, 35-year-old Justin Tootle was involved in a disturbance near the intersection of Faraon and 22nd Streets. The altercation ended with Tootle getting in his car and deliberately running into the other person, a man in his mid-30s.
The victim was trapped between Tootle’s car and another vehicle. He suffered serious personal injuries and was transported to Mosaic Life Care.
According to police, Tootle fled the scene, but was apprehended after a warrant was issued for his arrest. He will be arraigned on May 11, and will face charges that include one for first-degree assault.
Criminal Charges for Deliberately Causing a Car Accident
If someone deliberately causes a car accident in Missouri that hurts someone else, criminal charges are likely to follow. Typically, these charges can include assault, under Missouri Statute 565.050, and hit-and-run, under Missouri Statute 577.060.
Each one of these charges can be a felony, so a conviction can come with significant jail time.
Additionally, deliberately causing a car accident can lead to trouble, even if no one was hurt in the crash. If you claim that the crash was accidental on an insurance form when it was actually deliberate, it can be insurance fraud under Missouri Statute 375.991.
Personal Injury Lawsuits Can Compensate Victims
While criminal convictions deter or punish people behind deliberate car accidents, they do not help the victims of the crash. These victims often have thousands of dollars in medical bills and other expenses, and deserve to be compensated for their losses.
That is where a personal injury lawsuit can help.
Personal injury cases are not just for injuries suffered in accidents that were the result of negligence: They can also be used to compensate victims of deliberate acts, as well. After all, there is no reason why a victim should not get compensation when their injuries were caused deliberately. In fact, if the incident was deliberate, that is another reason why they should get financial help for their recovery.
Unfortunately, there are some obstacles that arise if you were hurt by a deliberate act.
One of them is when the person who caused your injury was working at the time. If your injuries had been the result of negligence, you could typically get the defendant’s employer to pay. However, this is far more difficult if the act was deliberate because, in those cases, the act was typically beyond the scope of the defendant’s work, making it unfair to hold the employer liable.
Another obstacle can be getting the defendant’s insurance to pay for your losses. While insurance typically covers accidents, some policies do not extend to damages that were deliberately caused.
St. Joseph Car Accident Attorneys at the Smith Law Office
If you or someone you love has been hurt in a car accident, whether deliberate or not, you need legal representation. Call the Smith Law Office in St. Joseph at (816) 875-9373 or contact us online.