Was fatal Philadelphia car accident the fault of shooters?

Last week, a rap video was being filmed in Philadelphia. The shoot inspired a crowd of onlookers to gather, and hostility reportedly broke out among the crowd. Hostility led to gunfire. It’s no surprise that the gunfire led to chaos on the streets, chaos that created a dangerous situation for pedestrians and drivers alike.

It isn’t rare for car accidents to occur. We write about and handle such cases all of the time. But it isn’t common for crashes to be caused by gunfire. Last Thursday night, while this gathering around the rap video took place, the gunshots that broke out led a man into panic and he fell in front of a car. He didn’t survive his injuries. So whose fault was the fatal car accident?

The man fell while reportedly trying to get away from the Philadelphia scene of chaos. It’s not the car driver’s fault that he ran over the man when he fell nearby the vehicle, is it? This is what officials are trying to figure out in order to determine whether criminal charges will be filed against the driver, or perhaps the shooters, in this unique case.

Criminal charges could help guide any surviving family of the car accident victim in determining whom they could potentially sue for the wrongful death of their loved one. This first assumes that the victim has family and secondly assumes that they would be interested in filing a lawsuit after their loss.

It sounds more natural for a lawsuit following a car accident to be filed against another driver, but it wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility to sue who drew fire at the location and thereby caused the preventable chaos. Also, if plaintiffs believed that the city could have done more to prevent the danger that overtook the Philadelphia street, suing law enforcement might not be out of the question, either.

As of now, this is all conjecture. We will post an update when there are developments in this case.

Source: Philadelphia Inquirer, “Man who fell during rap-video filming died from car accident, not from being shot,” Allison Steele, March 24, 2012



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