When the driver of a vehicle who has caused the death of a loved one is unidentified and missing, the family of the deceased may be bewildered, anxious and uncertain of how to proceed. Having to make funeral and burial arrangements surely adds to the stress of the situation. A California Ph.D. student recently died after she was hit in a crosswalk by a speeding vehicle.
The student and a friend were walking in a crosswalk on a recent Friday night when the driver of a vehicle who was reportedly traveling at high speed apparently ignored a stop sign. The vehicle smashed into the student, but her friend was fortunate enough to avoid being hit. The critically injured pedestrian was transported to a hospital but succumbed to her injuries and died shortly after being admitted.
By tracking evidence, authorities managed to locate the 41-year-old driver of the vehicle. He was arrested and is now facing charges of suspected felony DUI, vehicular manslaughter and felony hit and run. Since the victim is deceased, the family has the option to file a claim for financial relief, seeking to hold the alleged drunk driver accountable for their negligent actions.
In cases where a California resident is killed as the result of another party's negligent or reckless conduct, as apparently occurred in this instance where the victim was hit in a crosswalk, the victim's family retains the right to litigate a wrongful death lawsuit in a civil court. A monetary judgment for all costs related to the accident, including medical bills, funeral and burial costs, along with lost income, may be awarded in successfully presented cases. This may not ease the heartbreak experienced by those left behind, but it may assist them in attempting to cope with the financial aftermath of the tragedy.
Source: Chelmsford Ma. Patch, "Chelmsford Native Killed by Alleged Drunk Driver in California", Matt Schooley, April 1, 2014