Pedestrians, when involved in car accidents, are often more prone to serious injury and even death due to their lack of safety devices or protection of any kind. Drivers must therefore be aware of the presence of pedestrians on roadways and use proper care in the operation of their vehicle. A failure to do so, or to be negligent in any other way may expose them to significant damages for any injuries suffered by victims and their families.
A man was recently arrested in New Jersey after a fatal accident involving a pedestrian. He was driving a pickup when he struck a woman crossing the street from a nearby shopping center. The man fled the scene of the accident. The woman was taken to a nearby hospital for her injuries, but she died there. The driver claims he was unaware that he had struck anyone and his vehicle was only discovered after authorities received a tip about its whereabouts. He has been charged with leaving the scene of a fatal accident, driving with a suspended license and causing death while driving with a suspended license. He has had his license suspended 56 times and it is currently suspended indefinitely pursuant to four DUIs.
When a person's death is the result of negligence or misconduct on the part of another person or company, it is considered a wrongful death. A legal action pursuant to a wrongful death belongs to immediate family members of the victim, typically a spouse or children. To bring a successful action, there must be a death of a person caused by the negligence or harmful intent of another. Additionally, the victim must have surviving family members that suffered financial damages as a result and the victim's estate must have a personal representative. Many circumstances can give rise to a wrongful death, including car accidents as in the case above. A wrongful death may be present in that case due to the driver's act of driving with an indefinitely suspended license.
There is no amount of money that could fully compensate surviving family members for the death of a loved one. However, a damage award may be able to help them limit the financial burden imposed and they should be aware of their rights to compensation.