It may only be a matter of time before police identify a hit-and-run driver who fled the scene of a fatal three-car accident on Staten Island. The crash happened just after 5 a.m. on New Year’s Day, and according to police, the hit-and-run motorist blew through a stop sign, hit the victim’s car, collided with another parked vehicle, and left the scene on foot.
A 29-year-old man died of injuries he suffered in the first collision, and the hit-and-run driver, once identified, will likely face criminal charges. Police say he was driving a white 2003 Volvo S80.
The profound loss families experience after such an accident is difficult to express in words. Reckless or negligent actions resulting in death may be punishable under criminal law, but grieving families may also seek some measure of justice through a claim of wrongful death. This sort of legal action is meant to alleviate the overwhelming financial pressures that often follow the death of a loved one.
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Sometimes, even when a hit-and-run driver involved in a fatal accident is convicted in criminal court, the punishment seems lenient to the grieving family of the decedent. In addition to compensation for medical bills, funeral expenses, loss of earnings and loss of services, a successful wrongful death claim may also provide some degree of solace in the wake of a wrongdoer’s actions.
However, at-fault drivers and their insurance providers are likely to put up an aggressive defense against a claim of wrongful death, and families seeking justice after the loss of a loved one should be aware of their options for building a strong case.
Source: Metro, “Man, 29, killed in Staten Island hit-and-run crash,” Laura Shin, Jan. 2, 2013