As one of Calgary’s most dedicated plaintiff-only personal injury law firms, we here at Cuming & Gillespie LLP handle the legal aftermath of car accidents all the time. We battle insurance companies and work with the Calgary Courts on our clients’ behalf, using our legal knowledge and experience to get them the compensation they are owed for their injuries after they were hurt by someone else’s negligence or recklessness. Personal injury law exists to protect people from others’ irresponsibility, and in most incidents involving car accidents this area of law is sufficient.
In some cases, however, a drivers’ behavior can become so willfully negligent as to rise to the level of a crime. While this doesn’t always have a direct impact on the outcome of any civil case related to the incident, criminal charges—and especially a criminal conviction—can help to establish negligence and liability, and may potentially affect the amount awarded in any settlement.
One recent incident in Calgary illustrates how a car accident can lead to the convergence of personal injury law and criminal law.
When Reckless Driving in Calgary Creates a Criminal Potential
As reported the other week, a multi-vehicle crash occurred in the northbound lanes of Deerfoot Trail between 17 Avenue S.E. and Memorial Drive at approximately 4pm on Monday, May 29. According to witnesses, one of the vehicles involved was seen leaving the roadway several times, weaving in and out of traffic as it traveled northwards, before the accident occurred. The driver of this vehicle was then involved in a physical altercation with emergency responders and then with law enforcement.
As a result of these altercations, the driver in question has been charged with assault, assault causing bodily harm, assault against a peace officer and resisting arrest. According to reports, there may also be additional charges filed after CCTV footage and witness statements are reviewed. While we do not have access to the full facts of the case, from what has been described it is entirely possible that this individual will face criminal charges related to his driving behavior and the accident itself, not just the violence that apparently occurred in the accident’s aftermath.
Given what is known about the driver’s behavior and actions it seems highly likely that he will be held liable for any property damage and injuries that occurred as a result of this incident on Calgary’s roads. This might include injuries sustained by the paramedics who arrived on the scene as well as other drivers and passengers in other vehicles involved in the initial accident. The driver’s alleged criminal behavior will almost certainly work against him in any personal injury suit that arises from this incident.
A Lesson to All From a Calgary Personal Injury Lawyer
If you are ever involved in a car accident in Calgary, it is in your best interest to remain calm. If you are able, check with other drivers, passengers, and/or pedestrians involved to see if anyone needs emergency care. Exchange insurance info, call the Calgary Police, and remain at the scene. If anyone else becomes aggressive, do not engage—simply wait for law enforcement to arrive and take control of the situation.
Following an accident, the best way to protect your rights is to contact an experienced Calgary personal injury lawyer. For a free initial consultation, please contact our office today.