Tuesday night on Interstate 77, Niles Fitzherbert was driving home from work when a black car came racing up behind him at an alarming speed. The driver knew he would be unable to move over, as a convertible was blocking the adjacent lane. The next thing he felt was the convertible next to him crashing up against his SUV. He subsequently lost control of his car and flipped it over in the middle of the highway, landing back upright on his wheels.
Jarred Newell, the 30-year-old Rock Hill man driving the black car, did not get very far after he attempted to flee the scene of the collision that he had initially caused. Newell exited at Gold Hill road, where he continued to drive dangerously, striking two more cars, hitting one head-on. One of the drivers, a 16-year-old girl, went to the hospital.
According to state troopers, Newell then continued to flee the scene when he attempted to run from his damaged car. Luckily, however, a good Samaritan chased after Newell and was able to stop and hold him until police arrived. Fitzherbert along with the other four victims all survived the terrifying incident.
Rock Hill Accident Attorneys
If the unthinkable happens in your life, call the experienced wrongful death attorneys of Reeves, Aiken & Hightower LLP. Our seasoned litigators have over 75 years combined trial experience. Our team of personal injury attorneys include former insurance defense lawyers, a former Registered Nurse (RN), and former criminal prosecutor. We can investigate all aspects of a serious accident and hold all parties accountable for your loss. Call us today and speak directly with one of our lawyers at 704-499-9000 or 877-374-5999 toll free. We have offices in Charlotte and throughout South Carolina. We would be honored to have an opportunity to help you and your family get through this most difficult time in your lives.
We all have a vague idea that the laws are different on Indian reservations like the one in North Carolina, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, but what does it really mean after an car, truck, or motorcycle accident? Basically it affects the court in which the matter will be heard: Tribal Court, State Court or Federal Court.
Basically, if the defendant is a member of the local tribe, a car accident case will generally be heard in the tribal court; if the defendant is a non-member of the tribe, a car accident case will generally be heard in state (or federal) court, even if the accident occurred on roads within the Indian reservation.
The basic reason for this is that, as long as the road was on a right-of-way given by the reservation to the state or federal government, the tribe’s claim of jurisdiction over non-members is fairly weak. The accident occurred on a road that the tribe barely regulates and generally non-members tort defendants will generally have little meaningful interaction with the tribe. The non-member came on the reservation to visit, isn’t a member of the tribe, and merely got into an accident on (usually) a state maintained road. The basis for giving the tribe jurisdiction over a non-member accident defendant is seemingly weak.
However, members obviously should be under jurisdiction of the tribe, and perhaps are owed the protection that a tribal venue might give. Thus, when members are the defendants, the tribal court will likely have jurisdiction.
These are just the basic rules though. State courts may have concurrent jurisdiction in these types of car, truck, and motorcycle accident cases, and federal courts will have jurisdiction over whether or not the tribal court has jurisdiction. Federal courts may even have diversity jurisdiction in some cases as well.
Interestingly, it may not be so bad for the non-member defendant to try their car, truck, or motorcycle accident case in Tribal Court rather than North Carolina court: The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians recognizes comparative negligence rather than North Carolina’s contributory negligence.
North Carolina Car, Truck, and Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed anywhere in the Carolinas, call our accident attorneys at 877-374-5999. You’ll speak to an attorney who will help you evaluate your case, and we’ll fight to get you your best possible recovery.