A New Jersey man has been arrested and charged with numerous crimes after he appeared to deliberately run over a woman after a car accident. Leaving the criminal aspects of the case aside, the incident raises an important issue in personal injury law: Will the victim be able to recover any compensation for her injuries because the “accident” was intentional?
Man Appears to Intentionally Run Over Woman With Car
The incident happened on April 12, 2022, in Elizabeth, New Jersey. According to police and witnesses, the man and the woman were involved in a car crash. The man, however, tried to flee the scene of the accident. When the woman started to take photos of his car, the man drove his car at her, swerving to chase her onto a lawn. When the woman tripped, he drove over her once, backed up to drive over her again, and then drove back over her one last time before fleeing the scene.
The woman suffered serious injuries and was brought to the hospital in critical condition.
The man was found later that morning. He is facing numerous criminal charges, including for attempted murder.
It is unclear who was responsible for the initial car accident, though that crash did not cause any of the victim’s injuries.
Who Can a Pedestrian Sue After Being Intentionally Hit by a Car?
Pedestrians who have been intentionally hit by a car are likely to suffer serious or life-threatening injuries. Unlike in most other pedestrian knockdowns, the driver of the vehicle likely accelerated through the victim, rather than hitting the brakes. While pedestrians who were accidentally struck are usually knocked down and hurt, pedestrians who were purposefully hit are often knocked down and then driven over, as in this case.
Unfortunately, recovering compensation for these injuries is an uphill battle, precisely because the accident was intentional.
All drivers are legally required to have at least some liability coverage for car accidents. However, auto insurance companies almost always include a provision that retracts that coverage for intentional acts by the insured party. As a result, the driver’s car insurance company will not pay for the victim’s injuries.
Once the other driver’s insurer is out of the picture, the driver becomes an “uninsured motorist.” If the victim has car insurance that includes coverage for underinsured or uninsured motorists, he or she can make a claim under that policy.
Victims can also file a claim under their personal injury protection (PIP) coverage of their own car insurance policy, if they have one.
However, many people go without PIP or uninsured motorist coverage because they increase their policy’s premium.
Victims who do not have either type of insurance coverage are generally left to sue the driver in his or her personal capacity and make them pay out of their own pocket for the victim’s losses. The compensation that the victim can recover from the driver will be limited to his or her assets. If the driver is not wealthy, the victim will be unable to recover very much. If the driver is wealthy, it often creates a scramble as the driver tries to move his or her assets to places that are not accessible to the victim.
Car Accident Lawyers at the Smith Law Office Serve St. Joseph
The car accident and personal injury lawyers at the Smith Law Office serve accident victims in St. Joseph, Kansas City, Springfield, and the rest of western Missouri. Contact them online or call their law office at (816) 875-9373 for help.