Pedestrian collisions involving vehicles of any size, even those traveling at relatively low speeds, can often prove fatal. Hit-and-run accidents, in particular, may result in fatalities due to a lack of emergency medical services for the victim at the time of the collision.
As surviving family members of someone struck as a pedestrian by a moving vehicle, you likely have very strong emotions about the incident that resulted in the loss of your loved one’s life. Regardless of whether or not the state of Georgia brought charges against the driver who struck your loved one, it may be possible for you to bring a wrongful death claim against that individual as a means of securing justice for your family.
Hit-and-run drivers do damage in two different ways
Pedestrian collisions can occur for a number of reasons. Impairment or exhaustion on the part of a driver may lead to extended response times that caused the incident. Distraction, such as looking down at a mobile device, could also play a role. Whatever contributing factors lead to the pedestrian collision, the driver causes damage when their vehicle strikes a pedestrian.
Depending on issues such as the velocity of the vehicle and the stance of the pedestrian at the time of the collision, the incident could send someone flying or result in the vehicle rolling over the pedestrian. When someone knows that they are at fault for someone else’s injuries, they may panic at the scene and drive away, hoping no one noticed them.
Doing so compounds the damage they already caused by leaving the victim helpless. After a serious injury, an individual may lose consciousness and not be able to call for help. Even if they remain conscious at first, the collision could easily leave their cellphone too damaged to dial. If the area is quiet enough that there are no witnesses present for the collision itself, there may not be anyone there to offer aid to the victim in moments when timely intervention could save their life.
Hit-and-run wrongful death claims involving negligence and a wrongful act
It is illegal for a driver to leave the scene of an accident where someone gets hurt or where there is property damage. That means that striking a pedestrian and leaving is a wrongful act that opens someone up to liability.
Beyond that, leaving someone injured in the street without stopping to offer them first aid or confirm that paramedics arrived shortly to help them is dangerously negligent. Surviving family members will typically have strong grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit after a hit-and-run collision claims the life of a pedestrian, particularly in situations where timely medical care could have prevented their tragic loss.