People in San Diego may have heard about a disturbing hit and run car accident that began at a local fast food restaurant and left one man clinging to life and another in handcuffs. According to police, the hit and run took place at the victim’s house after an altercation took place in the drive through line, when the suspect and another driver followed them out of the parking lot and accosted the man at his home.
The suspect and another driver chased after the victim, following him to his home several blocks away. They revved their engines, squealed their tires and then drove at the man as he stood in front of his home. One of the cars eventually slammed into the victim, pinning him to a wall before taking off in the damaged vehicle. The victim was left with serious injuries, including severe head trauma, and is not expected to survive. The suspect returned to the fast food restaurant where the altercation began, where police found and arrested him on charges of assault with a deadly weapon.
Based on the circumstances regarding this tragic car accident, it is very likely the incident could ruled an intentional act, in which case the driver could face serious penalties. If a driver acts intentionally, not only do they face criminal charges if a victim is hurt or killed, but they could also face additional liability if the victim or the family decide to bring a civil suit for damages. In addition to the pain and suffering, lost wages and other compensatory damages that may be available to a car accident victim, the victim of an intentional assault could be eligible for all of these awards, but may also be entitled to punitive damages.
In this case, it appears that if the victim lives, he may be able to bring a civil suit for compensatory damages as well as punitive damages. If he succumbs to his injuries, his family may be able to bring a wrongful death suit against the driver, and may also receive an award for punitive damages.
Source: CBS 8 “Arrest made in East County road rage assault,” June 19, 2014