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[–] Copernicus 0 points 11 points (+11|-0) ago 

A lot of bad advice in this thread.

In most normal situations, pedestrians always have the right of way. If you see them, and you have time to stop or avoid them without putting yourself or someone else in danger (i.e. the typical 'if you swerve, you'll kill a bunch of schoolkids' hypothetical), then you must do so. If you see a pedestrian in the street and it's proved that you intentionally hit them (i.e. you could have avoided them or stopped), then you are liable. Plain and simple.

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[–] GoddammitMrNoodle 0 points 5 points (+5|-0) ago 

What he says.

Additionally you open yourself up to civil law suits, which generally have lower standards of proof than criminal proceedings. In short if you want to fuck up your life good then run over someone even a little bit on purpose.

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[–] mistermerrr 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

Aren't you usually open to civil law suits when you cause damage in a car accident, whether it was intentional or not(except in self-defense)?

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[–] mistermerrr 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

I thought you were always liable for paying damages. The question is if you're charged for murder or manslaughter.

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[–] Copernicus 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago  (edited ago)

Liable is used generally to mean culpability. That could be in a civil or criminal sense. Damages would generally be a civil case, wrongful death or negligence brought by the person or the family. And that can be brought regardless of whether the driver is charged criminally.

But if they have you on video stopped and then, without any reason (as the OP seemed to suggest) you decide to just run over protesters, please believe you will be charged with 2nd degree murder at least if one of them dies. Many states allow the government to cover their bases by including all lesser charges for the jury to consider as well. So if they don't get you on 2nd degree murder, they can still get you on manslaughter without any extra effort.

Of course, these protesters are so annoying that you might find a jury to acquit. But people really shouldn't bet on that.

Edit: if you were referring to damages for the accident (aside from the striking the person) then it depends on the state. Some states have no fault statutes. I don't remember exactly what they say, but it shares liability for damages regardless of who is actually at fault.