An SUV carrying many members of the South Philadelphia String Band, which had just taken second place in New Year’s Mummer’s Parade band competition, was struck by a 2014 Audi driven by a man who had just suffered 15 to 20 stab wounds.
Three of the four occupants of the SUV died when the man lost control of the Audi and crossed into oncoming traffic, and the fourth is in serious condition. Police say that the crash happened oat the 600 block of Parker Ave. in South Philly around 2 am, Tuesday morning. Police also say that they believe the stab wounds may have been self-inflicted, and the man has been charged with four counts of accidents causing death or serious injury.
The accident is under investigation, and police have executed a search warrant for the home of the Audi driver. Depending on the outcome of the investigation, further charges are possible.
Self-Inflicted Wounds and Negligence
Typically, if you were severely injured through no fault of your own, then you may not be held responsible for an accident causing injuries to others. However, though we don’t know what happened in the accident mentioned above, if one’s injuries are self-inflicted, then it may be possible to hold the person financially responsible for the accident.
In an auto accident, to prove that someone is financially responsible for injuries done to another, the injured (plaintiff) must prove that the person who hit them (defendant) was negligent. There are four things that must be proven to declare someone negligent and get compensation from the defendant. These are:
- Duty: That the defendant owed a legal duty to the injured. Generally speaking, every driver owes a duty of care to all others on the road and elsewhere when operating a vehicle.
- Breach: That the defendant breached that duty owed the injured person. The plaintiff must prove that the defendant was not taking reasonable care to prevent injury to the plaintiff and that by doing so, breached that duty of care.
- Causation: The actions of the defendant must be the sole cause of the injuries.
- Damages: The plaintiff must prove what their damages were. This can be medical bills, pain and suffering, lost time from work and other damages that stem for the accident.
In the case of someone being stabbed to the point of not being able to control the vehicle, then the defendant could argue that they were unable to control their actions and operate the vehicle safely. Under personal injury law, this would likely be enough to absolve the defendant of legal liability.
However, if the defendant is engaging in behavior such as voluntarily becoming intoxicated or self-inflicting injuries that would make it difficult to operated the vehicle, then he or she could be negligent and be held responsible for their actions.
What do I do if I’m the Victim of Someone’s Negligence?
If you are hit by a drunk driver or injured though another person’s negligence, then you might be eligible to be compensated by the person who injured you. To do this, you have to make a claim against the person to their insurance company and ultimately to a court if a settlement is not reached.
Many people wonder if they need an attorney. While it’s true than in some cases, an attorney is not necessary, by not at least talking to an attorney you put yourself in the position of relying on an insurance company or their lawyers to tell you what’s best for you.
Don’t go it alone. Talk to an attorney who can advise you on the law and has the knowledge and experience to deal with insurance companies and their lawyers. Talk to the attorneys at the Pearce Law Firm, P.C., by calling them at (215) 557-8686 or text at 215 880 6164. You can also contact us online by clicking here. Even if you don’t get an attorney to represent you, the consultation is free and you owe it to yourself to be told the truth by someone who has your best interests at heart.