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  • Fatal Car Accident

    A few months ago I was involved in a fatal car accident in which a pedestrian was killed. I was not arrested for various reasons, however under Japanese law, I am in the wrong. The police sent the papers to the prosecutors in mid February but I have heard nothing yet. Does anyone know how long the prosecutor takes to make a decision on whether to lay charges or not. Does anyone have any experience in this.

  • #2
    The fact that you don't have a lawyer at this very second suprises me. (I can tell because you are here posting this and asking these questions.)

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Fatal Traffic Accident

      I'm glad that were able to tell . . . .
      However your assumption is incorrect.

      The fact is that I do have a lawyer (two in fact) and both give differing opinions. For that reason I have placed this post in the hope of receiving some further useful input.

      Comment


      • #4
        For starters, I'd say I'm surprised that you're not in police custody right now. Why not tell us about these "various reasons" you were not initially charged so that people can give more informed advice.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by HavanaClub
          For starters, I'd say I'm surprised that you're not in police custody right now. Why not tell us about these "various reasons" you were not initially charged so that people can give more informed advice.
          Personally I dont think he would be in jail if the incident was accidental, but there was a fatality. An intentional hit and run is one thing. Bowling over a jaywalker or some one who walks out in front of you when they are not looking where they are going would be classed as unintentional and accidental.

          Comment


          • #6
            Hi Paul. Really just speculatiuon on my part although I did witness an accident about four years ago that kind of coloured my impressions.
            Was looking out the tenth floor window of my apartment when I see one guy being chased down the street by a group of four others. They soon caught him and started beating the living ____ out of the poor guy. He managed to escape but, looking quite dazed, staggered onto the road into oncoming traffic where a Uni student on a motorcycle ran right into him. The guy was pronounced dead at the scene. When the fuzz arrived, they detained the driver of the motorcycle (the four chimpira-type lads had already fled). When questioning my wife and I about what we'd seen, the cop emphasised that any evidence we could give would be very important in saving the kid on the bike from probable jail time. Kind of surprised by the way the cop was approaching this, I reiterated that the kid had hit the guy ACCIDENTALLY after he'd been beaten up by the runaway thugs. The cop said, basically, that that was all well and good but that the kid hit the dead guy and therefore, was in heaps of trouble - regardless of the fact that he didn't intend to. Subsequent anecdotal bits I've heard about "the larger vehicle's driver being considered guilty by default" have also contributed to my impressions of the OP's situation. Anyway, 'twould be good to hear the details.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Fatal Traffic Accident

              For obvious reasons I can't go into detail at this point in time. Revealing too much would create problems and it is not relevant to the point of my question. Suffice to say that I am well known in the area, have permanent residency and they decided (after a lot of persuasion) that there was no risk of flight.
              This is unusual but not impossible.
              When everything is settled I will be posting a full account on the Internet as a guide to others. But in the meantime, I would be grateful if anyone has any first hand experience with prosecutor proceedings as this is the next step and I am wondering how long it will take before they contact me. One lawyer says a month (already past) another says two and a third says three months or up to a year.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Fatal Traffic Accident

                Postscript:
                Contrary to popular belief, the police here aren't all bad in the same sense that all foreignors aren't bad. Cooperation rather than antagonsim, establishing the fact that you won't be railroaded and telling the truth and sticking with it.

                Comment


                • #9
                  So they were more interested in what was happening to the kid thatn chasing down the thugs ?
                  somone I knew suffered a very similar fate in nagiya a few years ago .He was gaijin
                  Originally posted by HavanaClub
                  Hi Paul. Really just speculatiuon on my part although I did witness an accident about four years ago that kind of coloured my impressions.
                  Was looking out the tenth floor window of my apartment when I see one guy being chased down the street by a group of four others. They soon caught him and started beating the living ____ out of the poor guy. He managed to escape but, looking quite dazed, staggered onto the road into oncoming traffic where a Uni student on a motorcycle ran right into him. The guy was pronounced dead at the scene. When the fuzz arrived, they detained the driver of the motorcycle (the four chimpira-type lads had already fled). When questioning my wife and I about what we'd seen, the cop emphasised that any evidence we could give would be very important in saving the kid on the bike from probable jail time. Kind of surprised by the way the cop was approaching this, I reiterated that the kid had hit the guy ACCIDENTALLY after he'd been beaten up by the runaway thugs. The cop said, basically, that that was all well and good but that the kid hit the dead guy and therefore, was in heaps of trouble - regardless of the fact that he didn't intend to. Subsequent anecdotal bits I've heard about "the larger vehicle's driver being considered guilty by default" have also contributed to my impressions of the OP's situation. Anyway, 'twould be good to hear the details.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    This case involves three independent, but related legal aspects, namely, criminal case, civil case and administrative case.

                    The criminal case would relate to professional negligence resulting in death or injury under Penal Code, Section 211. If you are driving under influence of alcohol or illegal drug, dangerous driving resulting in death or injury under Penal Code, Section 208bis would apply.

                    According to one web site run by a professional lawyer, if a victim suffers injury such that it takes more than three weeks to heal, the prosecutor will indict a driver. If this accident is the first time for a driver and if the driver is in sincere remorse, the sentence may be suspended, and the driver may not have to go to jail. In general, in Japan, remorse is an importanct factor in criminal cases.

                    According to another web site, a prosecutor would ask you to come to the prosecutor's office in two to three months from the accident for the criminal case. Then, you may be indicted.

                    The civil case involves a tort, and you are obligated to pay a compensation for damage. If you are insured, the insurance company will be in charge of the civil case.

                    The administrative case involves your driver's license, which may be rovoked.

                    If you settle the civil case with the victim or his/her family, then the criminal case will become advantageous to you.

                    I would suggest to contact an attorney to settle the civil case.

                    I hope that this information would help you.
                    Last edited by patentcom; 2006-03-22, 05:52 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by thickmick
                      So they were more interested in what was happening to the kid thatn chasing down the thugs ?
                      somone I knew suffered a very similar fate in nagiya a few years ago .He was gaijin
                      The one I witnessed was in Nagoya, was a few years ago, and was a foreigner. Same case perhaps?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by HavanaClub
                        The one I witnessed was in Nagoya, was a few years ago, and was a foreigner. Same case perhaps?
                        Did you ever talk to the family ,his name was Tony he had 3 kids
                        did the police ask you for info regarding the assailants ?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Patentcom

                          Many thanks for the well researched information.

                          The down side to this is that family of the victim are demanding several hundred million yen in damages (not practical) and refuse to negotiate. However the insurance company will look after this.

                          The administrative side is a foregone conclusion and will be a loss of licence.

                          The criminal side is difficult because although there are contributing factors from the victim's side (an unsupervised child playing on the road), the family refuse to accept that and are demanding a jail sentence. Therefore, the question of remorse, naturally there is deep remorse, will have no effect because the family are hell-bent on revenge.

                          As mentioned in my message above, we have two lawyers working on this but because of its complexity, we don't know how long the prosecutor will sit on it. Two to three months sounds about right thought. The papers went in early February so that will be around early May.

                          Patentcom, many thanks for the very helpful information.

                          regards

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Icarus
                            For obvious reasons I can't go into detail at this point in time. Revealing too much would create problems and it is not relevant to the point of my question. Suffice to say that I am well known in the area, have permanent residency and they decided (after a lot of persuasion) that there was no risk of flight.
                            This is unusual but not impossible.
                            When everything is settled I will be posting a full account on the Internet as a guide to others. But in the meantime, I would be grateful if anyone has any first hand experience with prosecutor proceedings as this is the next step and I am wondering how long it will take before they contact me. One lawyer says a month (already past) another says two and a third says three months or up to a year.

                            If you stay in Japan you will be going to prison. There is no way you can avoid this.

                            You'll also have to pay compensation to the dead persons family.

                            If I was you I'd be packing my bags and getting the hell out of here.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Icarus
                              Many thanks for the well researched information.

                              The down side to this is that family of the victim are demanding several hundred million yen in damages (not practical) and refuse to negotiate. However the insurance company will look after this.

                              The administrative side is a foregone conclusion and will be a loss of licence.

                              The criminal side is difficult because although there are contributing factors from the victim's side (an unsupervised child playing on the road), the family refuse to accept that and are demanding a jail sentence. Therefore, the question of remorse, naturally there is deep remorse, will have no effect because the family are hell-bent on revenge.

                              As mentioned in my message above, we have two lawyers working on this but because of its complexity, we don't know how long the prosecutor will sit on it. Two to three months sounds about right thought. The papers went in early February so that will be around early May.

                              Patentcom, many thanks for the very helpful information.

                              regards
                              Did you ever look at it as though it was your child that was killed by one of their family ?
                              The roads here are small ,and sometimes have no kerbs ,if the kid comes flying out of a hidden entrance or from around a corner then nothing much can be done ,however if the kid is playing by the side of the road and jumps into the road ,then approaching drivers should have taken the child or any pedestrian into consideration and if the speed is not too great then accidents can be prevented .The biigest killer in any accident is speed.

                              My brother was run over by a bus when he was 5 the rear wheels of the bus were trapping his legs to the ground ,he had been chasing a friend and started and stopped when running across the road .The bus driver was of course distraught ,and after that incident they changed the route of the bus .My brother survived ,but with horrific injuries he still walks with a limp today ,he could claim a disability allowance but prefers not to have the stigma.

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