On Aug. 31, a motorcycle rider was killed in Shelbyville after being hit by an SUV. Witnesses say that the 41-year old Bedford County resident was riding his motorcycle down Union Street when he was struck by the black and gold SUV; the driver of the SUV failed to stop at the scene of the accident.

The SUV that was allegedly involved in the accident was later found on Player Drive by a Rutherford County Sheriff’s Deputy. The 1999 Chevrolet Suburban and the Harley Davidson motorcycle were both transported to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Lab in Nashville.

The driver of the SUV has yet to be found. Once located, the driver may be taken into custody and charged in criminal court for failing to stop at the scene of an accident. Under Tennessee law, failing to stop at the scene of an accident that resulted in death is a Class E felony punishable by at least one year and up to six years in prison. A driver who negligently causes a car accident may also be sued in civil court by the victim of an accident or the family of the victim killed in an accident. Depending on whether the victim survived the accident, the lawsuit would either be for personal injury damages or for wrongful death.

If a lawyer is representing a client in a wrongful death matter, evidence of the defendant’s conduct may be used in arguing for a larger award in favor of the client. In a hit-and-run case, a lawyer might want to ask a jury to grant a larger amount of compensation against the defendant who failed to stop at the scene of the accident.

Source: Tennessee Code Annotated, “Motor Vehicles, Traffic and Parking.”

Source: WGNS, “Fatal Hit and Run Motorcycle Accident in Shelbyville Tied to Murfreesboro“, September 06, 2013