Sometimes, the chain of events that leads to a fatal car accident can result in some confusing legal outcomes. Recently, a 36-year-old man lost control of his motorcycle and crossed into oncoming traffic. He struck a Chrysler minivan headed southbound on US Route 62 in Columbus. The motorcyclist died on the scene as a result of injuries sustained in the accident, but police are still looking for the driver and passenger in the minivan.
Reportedly, after the fatal car wreck took place, the driver of the van and a passenger fled the scene without helping the motorcyclist. It has been reported the van was driven by female woman, who had a female passenger. Police are now searching for the pair and have asked the public to call in with any information they may have. Columbus police believe speed and alcohol were not a factor in causing the motorcyclist to lose control.
The somewhat confusing legal circumstance ensued in this case include the fact that, originally, the driver of the van did nothing wrong. However, in leaving the scene of the crash, a crime was committed. It remains speculation as to whether or not the driver of the van was under the influence at the time of the incident. If this was the case, the driver of the van may be hesitant to come forward considering the fatal outcome of the tragic accident.
At any rate, the loved ones of the deceased victim will likely seek answers about the events that led up to his death. It could be argued that had the driver of the van stopped to help or call police, the life of the motorcyclist may have been saved. As such, the family of the victim may seek compensatory damages.
On the other hand, the driver of the van may be entitled to a personal injury claim of her own, given the motorcyclist's loss of control led to vehicular damage and possibly emotional distress. Many people don't know a personal injury suit can be filed even in the absence of criminal charges. No matter what the outcome of this convoluted case, legal counsel specializing in personal injury law may be able to provide some perspective on each party's rights.
Source: NBC4, "Motorcyclist Killed In Crash Identified; Involved Van Still Missing," Donna Willis, Aug. 22, 2011