Washington Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth was recently sentenced to 10 days in county jail for driving his Porsche over 100 mph on the Washington, DC beltway several months ago. According to ESPN, the sentencing judge informed Werth that I-495 is not a racetrack and that her sentence would have been the same if Werth was not a famous athlete.
During the reckless driving trial, Werth testified that may have been going 90 mph but argued that he never reached 100 mph. At trial, a state trooper also testified he followed worth on the beltway for approximately half a mile at 105 mph before he pulled over the suspect. The officer approached the car with almost completely tinted windows and drew his weapon but then put it back in his holster when he saw Werth. The officer testified Werth was polite as said he was pushing his luck by driving that fast.
As our Boston car accident attorneys understand, even though this case did not end in a collision in which someone was injured, the judge was right to take the matter so seriously. Reckless driving results in thousands of serious crashes each year. When a car is traveling upwards of 50 mph over the posted limit, there is no way for a driver to react in a safe manner when any number of typical situations arise.
In a car accident lawsuit, the first element plaintiff is required to prove is defendant owed a duty of care to plaintiff to act in a reasonable and prudent manner to prevent foreseeable injury to foreseeable persons and property. Reckless driving is considered a breach of the duty of care and could be used as evidence in a lawsuit.
In cases involving a defendant who was also charged with a crime, the civil lawsuit will often be delayed until conclusion of the criminal case. The reason for this is that a criminal defendant has a constitutional right to remain silent and not testify against his own interest. This right to remain silent is also applied during a deposition or civil lawsuit while criminal charges are pending.
However, this is not always a problem for victims of injury lawsuits. While it may increase the amount of time it takes to receive a full and appropriate financial recovery, if a defendant is convicted at trial, it will be very difficult for a defendant or his or her insurance company to deny liability for the accident.
It should be noted that the victim will likely be asked to be a witness during the criminal trial, and it is important to have an attorney on your side during the process, because, while the prosecutor is interested in obtaining a criminal conviction, he or she is likely not familiar with the process of civil litigation or what is in your best interests in a personal injury lawsuit. You should always consult with your car accident lawyer before making any statements about the case.
If you are injured in an accident in Massachusetts, call the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment: 1-888-367-2900.
Jayson Werth sentenced to 10 days, December 5, 2014, ESPN
More Blog Entries:
Estate of Sholberg v. Truman – Fatal Car Accident Caused by Stray Horse, July 17, 2014, Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog