Earlier this month in Bayonne, New Jersey, a 43-year-old man was found dead by police near his motorcycle, which had sustained heavy damage. According to one local news report, the motorcyclist was found by police around 11:35 on a Friday night, about 45 feet away from his motorcycle.
Evidently, the driver of the min-van that had hit the motorcyclist fled the scene of the accident. However, the next day he showed up at the police station and told police that his minivan had been stolen in hopes that they would not consider him a suspect.
However, police conducted an investigation that eventually led back to the minivan’s owner and called him back in for another interview, at which point he admitted to making up the story about his van being stolen. As a result, he was arrested and charged with several crimes, including knowingly leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident resulting in death, hindering an apprehension, and tampering with physical evidence. He is also charged with filing a false police report.
Currently the man is out of custody after posting $60,000 bail.
Fleeing the Scene and Other After-the-Fact Conduct
Many accidents, even those caused by a negligent driver, are truly accidents. However, hit-and-run accidents involve an element of intent that most other accidents do not. This is because a hit-and-run accident requires a driver’s conscious decision to abandon an accident victim in his or her time of need and selfishly flee the scene in hopes of escaping personal liability.
Fleeing the scene and other conduct that shows consciousness of guilt may be admissible in a civil trial against a driver. Indeed, it is often very compelling evidence. For example, the fact that the driver in the accident discussed above came to the police station and filed a false report may be heard by the jury when determining if the accident victim’s family is entitled to monetary damages for the loss of his or her loved one. The jury may also hear evidence that the driver left the scene of the accident that resulted in the motorcyclist’s death.
As you can imagine, this is powerful evidence that, if presented to a jury, could influence the ultimate decision in the case. Therefore, it is crucial that as much preparation as possible is conducted prior to asking for the court’s approval to submit the evidence to the jury. It is for this reason that an experienced Maryland personal injury attorney is extremely useful in these types of cases.
Have You Been the Victim of a Hit-and-Run Accident?
If you or a loved one has recently been involved in any kind of serious or fatal motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to monetary damages based on the other driver’s negligence. However, before you are able to recover, you must be able to prove that the other driver did something negligent that caused the accident resulting in your injuries. To learn more about how you may be able to prove your case, and to speak to a dedicated personal injury attorney about your situation, call 410-654-3600 today to set up a free initial consultation.
More Blog Posts:
Questionable Police Chase Results in Several Serious Injuries, Maryland Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Blog, published December 4, 2014.
Hit-and-Run Accident Victim Struck While on Bike, Lucky To be Alive, Maryland Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Blog, published November 12, 2014.