When a pedestrian is struck by a car in California, it is almost always an accident. Prosecutors like district attorneys may decide not to pursue criminal charges against the drivers of these cars. Whether this is the case, a lawsuit for financial damages in civil court is an option for people who suffered in these collisions.

It appears the injuries that occurred in Sunnyvale when a 34-year-old male driver struck several pedestrians were no accident, according to law enforcement authorities in the Santa Clara County city. A police report shows the driver admitted to hitting the people on purpose when he accelerated his car into a crosswalk.

Prosecutors filed eight charges of attempted murder against the driver after at least six people were injured seriously enough to require hospitalization for treatment. A 13-year-old child remains in critical condition after the incident. A motive remains elusive as investigators continue to look into the background of the driver and any possible motivation.

Motives often matter in criminal matters, so judges and juries can evaluate the need to punish or rehabilitate an offender. When it comes to financial damages, the material of the case has to do with the harm done to a person by another person’s actions or failure to act properly.

Pedestrian victims of motor vehicle accidents and their families have the right to explore their options for settlements or jury verdicts in civil court, including reimbursement for medical expenses and compensation for income lost during recovery. An attorney can help victims review these options and decide the best one to pursue.