Thursday, August 1, 2013

When Is a Hit-And-Run Not a Hit-And-Run?

Answer: when the victim does not show up.  And in this case my client at best tapped the victim's car at a stoplight.  He got out of the car.  She got out of the car.  She was on her cell phone and remained on her cell phone.  He asked if she was okay and she responded that she was.  She kept talking on her cell phone.  My client looked for damage on her car.  Out of habit he took pictures of the back of her car indicating no damage.  She would not get off of her cell phone so my client left.

Apparently the victim contacted the police and complained of injuries and of a hit and run accident.  My client was charged with the crime.  I reviewed the pictures that he had.  They showed no damage whatsoever.  The woman apparently went to the hospital.  I was suspecting that she was basically making a fraudulent insurance claim.  No damage to her car.  Telling my client that she was okay.  I did not share the photographs with the prosecutor because I wanted to trap the woman during cross examination.  I wanted her to testify that my client left the scene of the accident almost immediately after the accident.  My client had at least five pictures.  I suspect it takes at least a minute if not more to take five pictures.  Not to mention his one-sided conversation with her.

The prosecutor kept us there all afternoon waiting for the victim to show.  In this case the victim pressed charges and ran.  My client did not hit and run.  The case was dismissed.

Maryland has a comprehensive scheme regarding hit and run.  Common sense and the law dictates that after an impact, no matter how minor, you should stop and exchange drivers license information as well as insurance information.  If there is injury you should take reasonable steps to help the injured person.  If you have any doubts about the other person's motivation you might call in the police.

No comments: