As is the case with many accidents that result in wrongful deaths, the conduct which led to the accident which killed your family member is also likely to have been a violation of the law. This means that the person or people who are responsible for your loss could also face criminal charges. For many families, the possibility that the responsible parties may be held both civilly and criminally liable is a source of great comfort. If both types of actions are successful, bereaved family members may be able to feel as though some amount of justice has been served.
One type of motor vehicle accident which often results in wrongful death actions in addition to criminal actions is the pedestrian accident. These accidents are horrific, and they are more common than you may realize. In the United States, one pedestrian is killed by a vehicle every two hours. That adds up to twelve lives lost to pedestrian accidents every day. While there are some pedestrian accidents which result in injury, many of them result in death because pedestrians can easily be crushed, thrown, or otherwise severely harmed by the force of the impact caused by the automobile.
Families of pedestrian accident victims are likely to pursue two types of civil damages following the death of their loved ones. A survival action against an at-fault driver can enable family members to recover the damages that the deceased would have been able to recover had they survived and filed a personal injury claim against the driver. Wrongful death actions help the families of pedestrian accident victims recover for the damages that their losses have caused for them, such as funeral expenses, loss of companionship, and loss of support. It is important that families who have lost a loved one in a pedestrian accident understand that survival and wrongful death actions are available even in situations where the person who struck and killed the accident victim was not violating the law when they did so.
If the party who is responsible for the death of your family member was violating one or more laws when the fatal accident occurred, criminal charges may be filed against them. Driving under the influence of alcohol is a common cause of pedestrian accidents, as is speeding, and both of those offenses can result in criminal charges. If extreme recklessness was involved, charges of vehicular manslaughter or involuntary manslaughter may be brought against the driver. If the driver fled the scene of the accident after striking the victim with their vehicle, additional charges and more severe penalties may be pursued.
Whether the accident that took the life of your loved one was a pedestrian accident, a motorcycle accident, a trucking accident, or some other type of accident, a Wrongful Death Attorney can protect your rights as well as the rights of the deceased. At Parker Waichman LLP, we take care of the legal needs of our wrongful death clients so that they can focus on healing the deep wounds that their tragic loss has caused.
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