Reports reveal that military police have arrested a driver who fled the scene of a crash and hopped a fence onto a naval base in San Diego.
According to police, an Acura sedan hit the rear of a Suzuki SUV. The impact caused the SUV to overturn. The 39-year old male driver of the Suzuki suffered cuts to his head and was taken to UCSD Medical Center. His injuries are not life-threatening.
Police learned that the driver of the Acura fled the scene and jumped a fence into Naval Base San Diego. Military police quickly responded and arrested the suspect. There is no word on what charges may be brought against the driver.
While fleeing the scene does make an individual look guilty, it does not always equate to liability for the actual accident. There are many reasons why someone flees the scene of an accident. Typically it is because the driver is fearful of the police. Perhaps the driver was drinking and driving or driving without a license. While there are many reasons for hit-and-run, it is not always true that a hit-and-run driver is liable for the accident.
However, a hit-and-run driver is automatically guilty of a crime. The term “hit-and-run” is used to describe an incident when someone is involved in a traffic accident with another vehicle, pedestrian or a fixed object, then leaves the scene without stopping to identify himself or herself or to render aid. It does not matter, from a criminal standpoint, if the driver caused the accident or not. The crime of “hit-and-run” is committed when leaving the scene.
Police will handle a hit-and-run as a criminal offense. Criminal proceedings will not compensate you for your damages. A civil suit can, however. When you file a personal injury claim against the hit-and-run driver you can seek a number of types of damages. Typically, damages include compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages and more.
When the driver leaves the scene of an accident and is later located, you may also be able to seek punitive damages. These types of damages are designed to punish bad behavior and to serve as a warning to others. Punitive damages are calculated by how much award it would take to effectively punish them. Even when the accident is unintentional, fleeing the scene and not offering aid is an intentional act that can potentially justify the award of punitive damages.
Your personal injury attorney at the Gilleon Law Firm, APC can help you determine if your case warrants punitive damages, as well as answer any questions and provide legal counsel through the entire process.