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Old 07-16-05, 10:58 AM   #1
ehammarlund
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THis one's long....

Riding north with the flow of traffic on Spruce Ave, a residential street, Albert is drafting behind Bill at 21mph.
Suddenly, a young girl rushes out into the street to get a football.

Bill slams on his brakes to avoid the girl. Albert, to avoid hitting Bill, swerves onto the corner of Harriet's yard, leaving no damage; continues throug a corner of Johnny's front yard, leaving tire ruts; swerves back into the street to avoid a large oak tree, and hits Ted's car, damaging the mirror.

Albert picks up the pieces of the broken mirror, and, intending to purchase a replacement for the car's owner and return the broken parts, puts the pieces in his bag.

As Albert and Bill collect themselves and begin to ride away, Ted runs out of his house. Ted runs after Albert, waving his arms and shouting for him to stop. When Ted lunges for Albert, Albert--worried that Ted may attack him--swings his pump at Ted, cutting Ted's arm.

Albert and Bill are liable / not liable for:
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Old 07-16-05, 11:34 AM   #2
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Did Albert leave a note or otherwise attemp to contact the car's owner?

Did Albert and Bill stop in response to Ted's shouts before Ted lunged at them?

I don't see Bill being liable for much of anything, unless it is for exceeding the speed limit in a 20 mph zone.

Albert is responsible for the property damage. Albert should be charged attempting to leave the scene of an accident, and possibly Bill as well if the state has a law requiring witnesses to stop, or if he is seen as causing Albert's actions.

If Albert and Bill were stopped and waiting and Ted was about to lunge at them in a manner percieved as threatening physical violence, Albert might have a reasonable self defense argument. If Albert and Bill were in the process of fleeing the scene, then Ted's action could be seen as attempting to restrain them, in which case Albert would have committed a battery.

Comes down to the details, and we need more details.

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Old 07-16-05, 12:52 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ehammarlund
THis one's long....

Riding north with the flow of traffic on Spruce Ave, a residential street, Albert is drafting behind Bill at 21mph.
Suddenly, a young girl rushes out into the street to get a football.

Bill slams on his brakes to avoid the girl. Albert, to avoid hitting Bill, swerves onto the corner of Harriet's yard, leaving no damage; continues throug a corner of Johnny's front yard, leaving tire ruts; swerves back into the street to avoid a large oak tree, and hits Ted's car, damaging the mirror.

Albert picks up the pieces of the broken mirror, and, intending to purchase a replacement for the car's owner and return the broken parts, puts the pieces in his bag.

As Albert and Bill collect themselves and begin to ride away, Ted runs out of his house. Ted runs after Albert, waving his arms and shouting for him to stop. When Ted lunges for Albert, Albert--worried that Ted may attack him--swings his pump at Ted, cutting Ted's arm.

Albert and Bill are liable / not liable for:

Bill is not liable for anything.

Albert following behind and failing to keep a safe distance is responsible for the damages to the various properties and might also be guilty of assult.
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Old 07-16-05, 01:02 PM   #4
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In Virginia, Albert could be charged with "failing to maintain proper control" no matter the distance to the vehicle ahead.

Depending on the law of the jurisdiction, Bill might be charged with leaving the scene of an accident if he had an obligation to stop.

ps What do we win if we get it right?
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Old 07-16-05, 01:53 PM   #5
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Albert is liable for property damage to Johnny's yard and Ted's car. He's guilty of careless driving, petty theft (the mirror), leaving the scene of an accident, assault and, most of all, extreme stupidity. At the very least, Bill is guilty of contributory stupidity.
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Old 07-16-05, 01:58 PM   #6
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Albert was tailgating Bill so is at fault for all of the damages caused by riding off the road.

Ted is responsible for his own injuries. Ted apparently did not use reasonable means to recover his property. A reasonable person should first have shouted out to Albert. Only if Albert refused to stop and continued attempting to leave with Ted's property, could Ted resort to non-deadly force to recover the mirror and apprehend Albert.
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Old 07-16-05, 03:13 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by supcom
Albert was tailgating Bill so is at fault for all of the damages caused by riding off the road. ...
I concur. I hope this is a cautionary tale for "wheelsuckers" everywhere. If you are not in a closed circuit race, leave a little following distance, an "escape route," and some safety margin.
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Old 07-16-05, 05:02 PM   #8
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Albert dug a real hole for himself. The property damages were caused by the moving violation of following too closely, which means Albert incurs civil liability. Picking up litter from the street may be admirable, but this was no mere litter. At the very least, theft was committed, along with failure to stop and give information, and in Texas, a private citizen can use force to prevent the consequences of theft and to detain the thief. A thief who uses force is no longer a thief, but a robber, and that is a felony. Altering or removing evidence of a crime is also a felony. In reality, felonies may not actually be filed in such an incident; it would depend on the prosecutor screening the case.
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Old 07-16-05, 07:26 PM   #9
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The law is a ass. Here's how it would go down in Roody's court:

They were not speeding because the limit is 25 mph. Albert took his chances by drafting, so he is responsible for the mirror, and must pay Ted. Ted and Albert were both hot-headed jerks, so they split the cost of Bactine and Bandaids. They all shake hands and share refreshments. The little girl (who actually started the whole thing by running out in the street) gets a whippin' and has to write apology notes. Her parents get ticketed for failing to keep her properly leashed. (Cue gavel bang.)
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