A St. Joseph man has been convicted for assault after deliberately running over his ex-girlfriend with his car. While the outcome of the trial appears to be good for the victim, it can actually keep them from recovering the financial compensation they need after being hurt in the car crash.
Man Convicted of Second-Degree Assault for Intentional Car Accident
The man was arrested after he ran over his ex-girlfriend with his Jeep back on July 15, 2019.
The incident had been captured on a neighbor’s video camera. The defendant never claimed that he did not run the victim over. Instead, he argued that it was not intentional.
The prosecutor argued that it was on purpose. He backed this idea up by pointing out that the incident happened after they had been arguing, and that the driver had turned his vehicle to hit her.
While the original charge had been for first-degree assault, the jury ended up convicting the man of assault in the second-degree, instead.
Different Levels of Intent for Assault Charges
Missouri has four degrees of assault. The driver in this case was convicted of second-degree assault, which prohibits the following acts:
- Knowingly causing a serious injury while acting in the heat of passion,
- Knowingly causing an injury while using deadly weapon or dangerous instrument,
- Recklessly causing serious injuries, or
- Recklessly hurting someone by firing a gun.
Whether the jury’s conviction was for reckless or knowing conduct can make a huge difference on whether the driver’s car insurance will cover her losses.
Car Insurance Companies Rarely Cover Intentional Injuries
We have discussed the repercussions of car accidents that are deliberately caused, before.
For victims who have been hurt, though, the most important difference between an accidental car crash and one that was done on purpose is whether they will receive insurance coverage from the driver who caused the wreck.
The vast majority of car insurance policies explicitly exclude coverage for intentional acts. If a crash was done on purpose, neither the driver’s insurance company nor the victim’s car insurance company will cover it.
The lack of coverage can have dire repercussions for the victim. They will have to rely on their own health insurance to cover their injuries. They will also not receive compensation for their pain and suffering or any professional setbacks that result from the crash.
If the victim of an intentional crash files a personal injury lawsuit against the person who hurt them, they can only hold the perpetrator personally liable. This means they will be limited to the perpetrator’s assets, rather than any insurance coverage. Unless the perpetrator was wealthy, the compensation that can be recovered in these lawsuits is unlikely to fully cover the victim’s losses.
St. Joseph Car Accident Lawyers at the Smith Law Office
Victims who are hurt in car accidents in western Missouri deserve to be compensated for their losses. The personal injury and car accident lawyers at the Smith Law Office in St. Joseph strive to recover that compensation for them. Contact them online or call their law office at (816) 875-9373.