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Accused hit-and-run accountant pleads not guilty

The owner of Brookfield's Thomas J. Rhoda & Associates accounting firm stands accused of injuring a female pedestrian with his Mercedes in a car accident and causing her serious bodily harm in the process. Witnesses at the scene of the July 15, 2012, accident claim that the woman was struck at a roundabout between Barker Road and North Avenue around 7:39 p.m. and that the car kept driving without ever stopping. The woman was discovered with injuries to her face, head and hips, and emergency medical professionals transported her to a local hospital.

The victim required medical treatment for skull fractures, a broken pelvis and cranial lacerations that had to be stapled closed. At the scene of the crime, police investigators discovered damaged parts from the Mercedes, and the accused man's attorney later contacted Brookfield police to let them know that he would remit himself into police custody the next morning along with the car. Although the owner of the accounting firm did show up as promised, he refused to answer police questions without his lawyer, and he later pled not guilty to the hit-and-run charges. He is currently free on $1,000 bond.

Although this case seems open-and-shut, it may not be so simple. The fact that the defendant won't admit to his crime even though his lawyer acknowledged that he was driving the vehicle that hit the woman means that she may have a tough legal battle ahead of her.

As this case demonstrates, pedestrian accidents can result in serious personal harm, and even a preponderance of evidence may not be enough to establish fault without legal wrangling. As a result, many victims who are left with severe injuries and high medical expenses as a result of a driver's actions seek legal assistance in order to build their cases and secure compensation.

Source: The Brookfield Patch, "Businessman Accused of Hitting Woman With Car Set for Trial," Sarah Millard, March 27, 2013

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