Often when a car accident occurs, legal cases ensue. Sometimes criminal charges are pressed by authorities. Other times civil personal injury or wrongful death claims are filed by the injured person or the loved ones of the deceased. On some occasions, both criminal and civil cases occur.
Early one morning last summer, former Miami Heat player, Alonzo Mourning was involved in a car accident on the Julia Tuttle Causeway. The Porsche he was driving, with his wife as a passenger, reportedly collided with an Audi that was stopped in the middle of the roadway. At the time of the incident, the two were on their way home to Coral Gables after the wedding of Miami Heat player Chris Bosh.
The stopped vehicle, which was empty, had reportedly been involved in a previous collision. After checking for occupants in the Audi and not finding any, Mourning reportedly continued on home where he then contacted the police.
Though Mourning had to pay a fine for leaving the scene of an accident, the State Attorney did not prosecute on the misdemeanor charge of leaving the scene of an accident.
Despite avoiding criminal consequences, Mourning faced a civil suit filed by the owner of the Audi. After what was apparently a difficult process, the lawsuit between the two parties was reportedly recently settled. Specific details of the settlement are not known as there are confidentiality agreements in place.
This is an example of how even when someone involved in a motor vehicle accident avoids a criminal proceeding, he or she may still face ramifications in a civil court.
Source: Miami Herald, “Billy Joel puts Miami Beach mansion on the market,” Jose Lambiet, May 9, 2012