Protesters were likely targeted by a frustrated driver
The incident happened on a Friday at approximately night near the intersections of Burlington and Gilbert Streets. Iowa City police were in the area undercover and in an unmarked vehicle. They did not witness the collision, but they did see a suspicious vehicle suddenly speed away from the area near the intersection.
Police saw the license plate number, but could not immediately pursue the vehicle due to congestion and pedestrians in the area. None of the victims had initially reported the accident, and the driver fled the area leaving law enforcement with little information.
A witness later showed a video of the incident to the Iowa City police where the vehicle was clearly depicted going through pedestrians at the protest at the same intersection. An investigator with the department was in the process of making contact with all of the victims and trying to track down the suspect. The vehicle and the driver were eventually identified.
The civil and criminal aspects of an intentional motor vehicle accident
Accidents that involve the possibility of criminal charges will still require a civil lawsuit if victims expect to receive compensation for their injuries. The criminal and civil cases will go through separate court systems, and may have different outcomes as the verdict or settlement in one case may not necessarily affect the other.
The criminal case will mostly be controlled by the government, and the victims or others in the area will possibly be called as witnesses if necessary. A civil case gives the victim much more control to create a strategy with their attorney and ask for an amount of damages that will cover losses such as medical bills, property damage, and missed time from work. The advantage for a plaintiff in a civil suit that has criminal charges or traffic violations involved, is that these can be presented in court as strong evidence of negligence.
Insurance claims for vehicle damage and injuries
In most cases, an auto insurance policy will cover drivers and passengers in vehicles only. Pedestrians may have to resort to legal action to get their medical costs paid, however it is possible to check with your insurance provider to see if these types of accidents are covered and financial assistance is available under a specific policy.
Get help from a local personal injury attorney
There are lawyers who serve clients in Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, and other nearby parts of the state. To learn more about personal injury law and how you may be able to receive compensation, contact:
1921 51st Street NE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402-2400