Police say a Bangor pedestrian accident that resulted in injuries may have been intentional. What will that mean as far as auto insurance coverage for the injured?
According to The Bangor Daily News, a woman from Brewer may have intentionally rammed her car into a pedestrian who was playing the now-popular Pokemon Go game near the U.S. Post Office downtown – a so-called “Pokestop” – on a recent Sunday night.
Witnesses say a 37-year-old man from Bangor was injured while in the Franklin and Hammond Street crosswalk. Authorities allege a 36-year-old woman struck the man and then took off. The victim was reportedly playing the game on his phone with a group of friends just before he was struck by the woman in the vehicle.
Those who say the incident say they heard yelling. Several were playing the game with their own group of friends. The driver was alleged to have yelled out, “Do you want to get hit?” The victim reportedly yelled something back that was unintelligible. The female driver then backed up about 20 feet or so, then began speeding forward, struck the pedestrian and then raced away over the hill.
Bystanders raced to his side to make sure he was Ok and to catch the license plate number. The group also took note of the make and model of the vehicle, which was relayed to police. Authorities located the suspect vehicle and driver about 30 minutes later and placed her under arrest for aggravated assault, which is a Class B felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
The victim reportedly was not seriously hurt, though he did sustain some injuries.
Will the fact that this was allegedly an intentional act affect the victim’s ability to collect damages for Maine car accident injuries?
Yes, it could.
Here’s why: Most auto insurance companies have a provision called an intentional injury exclusion or an intentional act exclusion. Insurers will use this to deny personal injury claims in situations where the policy holder intentionally causes damage to someone else.
In general, Bangor car accidents are considered to be unplanned events. Even though they generally stem from human error or actions for which negative outcomes were foreseeable, they are mostly re unintended and unexpected. For example: Someone intentionally ran a stop sign, but (wrongly) believe they could do so safely. They weren’t trying to hurt anyone.
But when the injury is intentional – and the weapon happens to be a motor vehicle – auto insurance companies are loathe to cover that.
Unfortunately, that usually doesn’t lessen the victim’s injuries. He or she may still have a cause of action for those injuries. That is, they can sue the at-fault driver/ aggressor. However, collecting on those damages is another story. Whereas auto accident injuries are covered by insurance, injuries caused by intentional acts are not and therefore the latter isn’t covered by insurance. That means the plaintiff is going to have to target the assailant directly. If that individual doesn’t have much in the way of assets, there may be little hope of collecting – even if the plaintiff wins a favorable judgment.
Your Bangor personal injury lawyer can help advise you if this is the scenario in which you find yourself. There may be other opportunity for third-party liability in such a case.
If you are the victim of a Bangor car accident, contact Peter Thompson & Associates at 1-800-804-2004 for a confidential consultation to discuss your rights.
Police arrest Brewer woman accused of Pokemon Go-related hit-and-run, July 25, 2016, By Nok-Noi Ricker, Bangor Daily News
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Driver in Fatal Main Truck Accident Had Checkered Safety History, May 25, 2016, Bangor Car Accident Lawyer Blog