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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Baltimore, Maryland
    Posts
    19

    Default What Are Your Legal Remedies when a Vehicle Crashes into Your House

    My question involves an injury that occurred in the state of: Maryland.

    In Anne Arundel county, Maryland, on Monday (1/28/2019) like a would-be terrorist this driver crashes through a chain link fence, through a closed garage door, and into the lower level of my single-family home demolishing the bathroom and plowing through walls, doors, personal property and destroying everything else in his idiot path. He narrowly missed a 5-gallon can of gasoline. The destruction was so severe that the county had placed a sign on the front indicating "Unsafe Building ... Occupancy Prohibited". Nobody was home at the time. However, the driver was taken away in an ambulance.

    After watching the video I thought this might have been an intentional act. I was astonished to learn the driver was not charged with anything. The police report indicated that the driver had fallen asleep. Keep in mind this incident was in the middle of the day, clear weather, a straight road, and no toxicology test was given. This driver will kill somebody one day. This video would be showing a head-on collision if the driver's timing was off by one second. I am certain this driver will find himself on the wrong end of a civil suit. Still, I have some questions.

    1. It appears that it is lawful in Maryland to use you vehicle to destroy private property if you claim falling asleep. Is that about right?

    2. I went to the police station to pick up the police report and was told that I had to pay for it because I was not a victim.
    Excuse me? If this does not qualify as a victim what does?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,531

    Default Re: What Are Legal Remedies when Vehicle Crashes into House

    If you mean by is it lawful is asking whether it is criminal or not, accidents themselves are not generally considered criminal but there could be criminal issues stemming from them


    as to not being a victim; what the person you were talking to say when you asked why you wouldn’t be consider a victim?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    7,603

    Default Re: What Are Legal Remedies when Vehicle Crashes into House

    1. I can't say why they didn't charge the driver but there are several things he could have been charged with. That being said, except in certain limited circumstances, the police are not required to issue a citation or make an arrest.

    2. Not sure why they threw in "not a victim". It's not at all unusual for there to be a cost for a copy of a report. I am not seeing anything in Maryland law that requires the victim of a crime be given a free copy.

    P.S. I see nothing in the video that would indicate this is an intentional act. Someone who is asleep cannot control where the vehicle goes.
    P.P.S. Dial back the hyperbole and drama. "would be terrorist"? Really?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Baltimore, Maryland
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: What Are Legal Remedies when Vehicle Crashes into House

    I come home from work to find my home destroyed to the point that the fire department will not allow me inside ... and you accuse me of hyperbole. I had been in the house during lunch and easily could have been killed. Hyperbole indeed. Regardless of the intent, a terrorist act is what it "felt like". If he was indeed asleep one would think crashing through a chain link fence would wake him up. Multiple people have suggested that I install barriers like you see in front of government buildings to protect from terrorists, or in this case, negligent drivers. Most likely I will be looking at one-ton landscape boulders. That should wake him up.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    7,603

    Default Re: What Are Legal Remedies when Vehicle Crashes into House

    Quote Quoting TLark
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    I come home from work to find my home destroyed to the point that the fire department will not allow me inside ... and you accuse me of hyperbole.
    Yes, yes I do. Accusing someone who caused an accident of being a terrorist is very much hyperbole.

    Quote Quoting TLark
    View Post
    I had been in the house during lunch and easily could have been killed. Hyperbole indeed.
    Coulda, woulda, shoulda. Still wouldn't make the person a terrorist. I'm glad you were away and no one was injured, besides maybe the driver.

    Quote Quoting TLark
    View Post
    If he was indeed asleep one would think crashing through a chain link fence would wake him up.
    Some people are really deep sleepers. It's also possible that he experienced some kind of medical emergency. Someone driving a car in a diabetic crisis can be completely and totally gone to the world, even after hitting things.

    Quote Quoting TLark
    View Post
    Multiple people have suggested that I install barriers like you see in front of government buildings to protect from terrorists, or in this case, negligent drivers. Most likely I will be looking at one-ton landscape boulders. That should wake him up.
    Those are certainly options. I probably wouldn't bother with it unless your house is located in a spot where this happens frequently.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Baltimore, Maryland
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: What Are Legal Remedies when Vehicle Crashes into House

    Quote Quoting free9man
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    Yes, yes I do. Accusing someone who caused an accident of being a terrorist is very much hyperbole.
    .
    You apparently struggle to understand the word "Like". I didn't say he "was" a terrorist. The damage he did to my home looked "like" a tornado hit. Bathroom demolished, sink on the floor, water everywhere. As to the point of question 1 – I was astonished to learn that after causing massive damage the driver was not charged with anything ... not even a citation. So I am trying to understand why this is acceptable. Regardless of the drivers intent, he is clearly a threat to public safety.

    When I called the police records division I was told I could pick up the police report and would not have to pay for it because I was the victim. I can only repeat what I was told. I think that is common practice even it isn't in the law. Upon arriving for the report I was then told I would have to pay a fee because I was not a victim.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    7,603

    Default Re: What Are Legal Remedies when Vehicle Crashes into House

    Quote Quoting TLark
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    You apparently struggle to understand the word "Like". I didn't say he "was" a terrorist.
    I am familiar with the word like and many of it's uses and meanings, although I will admit there may be some I don't. In this case, I am well aware. You are trying to back pedal. The full context of what you wrote does not imply the same use as "like a tornado".

    As you have been told, he may be charged later down the road. They have until the statute of limitations runs for whatever they may be thinking of. We cannot say why they are taking the course of action they are. Perhaps he is not in a fit state to be charged at the moment.

    No, it is not common for victims to get freebie reports at least in traffic accidents. It's not a crime in the traditional sense which may be where the confusion arose. It's possible they may have a policy of crime victims getting a freebie but since this wasn't a crime per se, you had to pay.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    16,864

    Default Re: What Are Legal Remedies when Vehicle Crashes into House

    Quote Quoting TLark
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    Most likely I will be looking at one-ton landscape boulders.
    That's actually a good idea. I have them along the front of my property. 200-300 lbs each I guess. Couple of years ago a car hit one, moved it about a foot and left pieces of car behind. No harm to the boulder.

    Anyway, I don't know what you hope to learn here. You obviously can sue the driver. I'm sure you know that.

    But why bother? Your homeowners insurance will cover all the repairs (and temporary lodging and expenses) and go after the driver for reimbursement including your deductible. You should already have had an adjuster out and started working with contractors on scheduling repairs.

    It's only been less than two weeks. That he hasn't been charged yet doesn't necessarily mean that he won't be charged at some future date.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    1,287

    Default Re: What Are Legal Remedies when Vehicle Crashes into House

    I don't really understand question #1. You're obviously free to make a claim against the driver's auto liability insurance and/or sue him -- to say nothing of a claim with your own homeowner's insurance.

    I don't understand the point of question #2.

    You may want to consult with a local attorney.

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