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David Crosby settles pedestrian accident lawsuit

California residents may recall media reports in March 2015 concerning a pedestrian accident involving a vehicle driven by the singer and songwriter David Crosby. Crosby's Tesla sedan struck a 46-year-old man who was out jogging with his son in Santa Barbara County. While the former Crosby, Stills & Nash member faced no criminal charges as a result of the accident, a civil lawsuit was filed against the 74-year-old singer by the jogger that claimed Crosby was traveling at an excessive rate of speed and was driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Crosby claimed that he was blinded by the sun in the moments before the accident, and a police officer at the scene determined that he was not impaired. The jogger suffered serious injuries including broken ribs, a broken arm, a broken shoulder, a broken leg and kidney damage. The accident took place in Santa Ynez on Baseline Avenue at about 6:00 p.m.

The lawsuit filed on behalf of the jogger alleged that Cosby lied to the police and was operating his vehicle in a malicious and oppressive manner. Several media outlets reported on June 20 that the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer had avoided the potential embarrassment of a civil trial by settling the lawsuit. According to the reports, Crosby will pay $2,950,000 to the jogger and $50,000 to his son.

This settlement shows that lawsuits brought on behalf of car accident victims by personal injury attorneys may sometimes be settled even when no criminal charges were filed against the driver involved. Criminal law requires charges to be proved by the prosecution beyond a reasonable doubt, but these types of civil proceedings are decided based upon the preponderance of the evidence, which is a less-burdensome hurdle for injured plaintiffs.

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