A biker who was run over by an SUV during a motorcycle outing is now paralyzed and in a coma. 32-year-old Edwin Mieses was allegedly trying to defuse a violent confrontation that was occurring when he was run over, New York's WABC reports.
The SUV driver, Alexian Lien, is alleged to have initially tapped one of the bikers, which then prompted a swarm of bikers to go after him. The group chased him until they hit the George Washington Bridge ramp, where a biker apparently ripped open his car door. Lien then took off again and ran over Mieses. The bikers then chased after Lien, pulled him from his car, and beat him in front of his wife and two-year-old, to the point where he needed stitches.
What sort of liability could Lien face for Mieses' injuries?
While most motor vehicle accidents are caused by negligence, usually because they are unintentional, Lien may be liable for reckless driving. Reckless driving occurs when a driver operates a vehicle unsafely with a clear disregard for the likelihood that his driving could cause an accident.
Lien could also be held liable for battery. Battery, in general, requires that the defendant make offensive contact with his person. A car -- which is considered attached to one's person -- can also count for battery purposes. In New York, intentional assault and battery requires physical injury, which is certainly present in Mieses case.
Despite Lien's possible liability for injuring Mieses, he may have a strong defense in self-defense. Self-defense of one's person or property is a very common defense when one feels as though he is being attacked. As a general rule, self-defense must be justified based on the circumstances. Usually, this will require that the level of force used to protect oneself (or one's family, in this case) was reasonably necessary to repel the attack.
In this case, while the force Lien used was arguably deadly, it may still hold up as reasonably necessary. Especially considering the dangerous situation he was involved in -- multiple bikers riding after him, wrecking his car, and in general showing threatening signs of an equally dangerous attack to come.
- Family: Injured biker in SUV assault a devoted dad (The Associated Press)
- Self-Defense (FindLaw's LawBrain)
- Another Biker Charged in SUV Assault Case (FindLaw's Blotter)
- 1 Biker Charged, 1 Released in Road Rage Attack (FindLaw's Blotter)