In Minnesota, driving a motor vehicle is a legal privilege. It is not a right. This is why drivers are bound by a number of limits as well as duties. One of the most important duties is that of stopping to render aid after being involved in a car accident. This law generally requires drivers who are involved in a crash to stop their vehicles, identify themselves, and render assistance and/or call 911.
When people drive away from the scene, the accident becomes a hit-and-run. Hit-and-run drivers are often found and held accountable. A truck driver who allegedly drove off after causing a motorcycle accident in East Bethel earlier this month was later apprehended and he has now been charged with criminal vehicular operation.
According to police, the truck driver had a blood-alcohol content of .125 percent when he pulled out of EJ's bar in front of two oncoming motorcyclists on Viking Boulevard. One of the motorcyclists lost control of his bike and crashed.
That motorcyclist suffered a broken ankle.
The truck driver could be sent to prison for three years, and fined up to $10,000, if he is convicted of the criminal charge.
He may also face a personal injury lawsuit from the motorcycle accident victim as that victim attempts to recoup compensation for medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering.
In some hit-and-run cases, unfortunately, the drivers are not caught. In others, the drivers are caught but they are underinsured. Victims of such accidents should be aware that their own car insurance policies are likely responsible to pay for their injuries and pain and suffering. Insurance companies often deny such claims when they should not, and it can be critical for victims to work with an attorney to get the compensation they deserve from an insurance company.
Source: 5 Eyewitness News, "Anoka County Man Accused of Causing Accident, Fleeing Scene," Jennie Olson, Oct. 28, 2013