Massachusetts auto crash: accidental or intentional?

Although a large majority of collisions on the road are considered accidents, there are cases that arise where it appears that a motorist intended to strike another individual. An auto crash of this nature often fosters not only civil lawsuits but also criminal charges being filed in a Massachusetts criminal court. In a recent case, a man is facing such charges due to his alleged conduct early one morning.

The man, who is identified as being 76 years old, is said to have struck an individual on his bicycle. The man was at a red light when he hit the bicyclist. The impact threw the cyclist from his bike.

Area witnesses stated that after the bicyclist was thrown to the ground, the motorist proceeded to run him over several times. He then apparently fled the scene. Meanwhile, the bicyclist was taken to a local hospital where he was reported to be in serious condition. The elderly man was later arrested for his conduct and arraigned on the criminal charge of assault with the use of a deadly weapon.

It remains unclear at this time what caused the man to strike the bicyclist in the first place. Although a motive may be useful in the criminal side of the auto crash, it may not be necessary in proving the man's negligence if the victim elects to file a suit in Massachusetts civil court. This suit may allow the victim to gather additional evidence through the discovery process that may unveil why the man committed the act and could provide a basis for the victim to pursue a claim for punitive damages in addition to any compensatory damages sought. Punitive damaged typically apply when an injury occurs due to actions of another that are found to have been reckless or intentional.

Source: CBS News, "Elderly man accused of repeatedly running over Boston motorcyclist," Sept. 4, 2012

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