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Billings veteran in recovery after hit-and-run

Billings police officers are still seeking information regarding a December 22 hit-and-run incident that left a local military veteran in the hospital with serious injuries. Although we often think of an auto accident in terms of either a collision or a single-vehicle crash, pedestrian accidents account for a significant number of vehicular injuries. Oftentimes, pedestrian accidents are the fault of a careless or distracted driver. In this case, however, the accident victim believes he may have been intentionally targeted.

According to the veteran, a 54-year-old Billings resident, he left a local bar at around 2:00 a.m. and walked a friend to her car. After starting back toward his car, the man noticed a truck driving slowly and felt that he was being stalked. He says that the truck revved its engine and struck him after he turned his back to it.

The veteran was transported to the hospital after police received a hit-and-run call and he underwent surgery the next day. In addition to bruising and cuts and scrapes around his left eye, the man suffered multiple broken back bones that required the surgical installation of pins and screws.

Having only recently retired from a 27-year career in the army where he suffered a neck injury while serving in Afghanistan, the veteran now faces months in a back brace and uncertainty as to whether he will ever fully recover. In addition to medical expenses, his injuries may limit his ability to pursue certain types of employment and to enjoy life to its fullest.

Personal injury attorneys most frequently handle claims that arise from injuries caused by another person's negligence, but the fact that an injury may have been intentional does not limit a victim's right to seek compensation for medical expenses and other personal damages. When the perpetrators of the hit-and-run are identified, they may find themselves facing a civil action in addition to any criminal charges pressed by law enforcement authorities.

Source: Billings Gazette, "Billings pedestrian injured in hit-and-run," Clair Johnson, Dec. 28, 2012

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