Survivor of Attempted Vehicular Homicide Sued for Car Damage

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A 17-year-old boy who was hit by a car and then abandoned by the driver has been sued for the damage his body negligently caused to the car.

As we saw a while back (here and here) this shameful practice of individuals not getting out of the way of speeding cars, thus negligently damaging the front end of said cars, appears to be rampant in Europe.  (This also happened in the US not too long ago, but that case involved a negligent dog.)

I used the word "abandoned" rather than calling it a hit-and-run because it was more complicated than that.  The boy, Karel Pravec, somehow ended up out in the woods far from the accident scene.  He survived after managing to crawl back to the road, where he was found.  Since both his legs were broken, it seemed unlikely he had gotten out there under his own power ("Well, if you crawled out, Mr. Pravec, you could have crawled in, couldn't you?  I have no further questions.")  It turned out that the driver, Petr Neisser, had in fact taken Pravec out in the woods and left him there.  Neisser was convicted of attempted murder, but none of that is likely to come in during the civil suit, which will address only the cause of the accident.

That, too, is unclear.  Pravec was walking home from a nightclub, while Neisser had also been at a nightclub and was driving home with his girlfriend.  Everyone involved had been drinking, of course.  A court expert testified in the criminal case that Pravec "stepped into the road unexpectedly," where he was hit by Neisser, who was driving too fast to avoid him.  According to the report, Pravec "flew over the car and fell in the car's boot [trunk] through the rear window."  I assume that was Neisser's story as to how the boy got in his trunk, because he claimed he found out what had happened only after he got home.  "Honey, I was just checking the trunk for no reason now that we are home from the nightclub, and there's a boy in the trunk."  "Hm.  He does look familiar – maybe he's the one we saw flying over the car?"

Niesser responded as any good Samaritan would to finding an injured boy in his trunk — by taking him out in the woods and dumping him.  He argued later that he had not been trying to kill Pravec, saying that since it was not cold there was no risk he would die of hypothermia.  Just a nice, peaceful night in the woods with two broken legs.  Neisser also said that it was actually good that he took Pravec to the forest, because there was a better chance for someone to find him there than if he had just left him in the driveway.

The unsurprising result of those arguments: a 12-year sentence for attempted murder.

Still unresolved is who will pay for the damage to the car (about $3,000 US), which was owned by Neisser's employer.  While he condemns Neisser's actions, he says the facts show the boy was negligent.  "If you consider a lawsuit against the damage caused by Pravec['s body] immoral," he said, "there is nothing I can do about it.  I insist it is moral and right."  The family does think it is immoral, but is also seeking a new expert opinion on the cause.

Pravec has since recovered fully from his injuries.

Link:  Prague Daily Monitor (in Czech-flavored English)
Link:  Social Services for Feral Children (a blog that reported on this story)