Hit-and-runs are tragic and tragically common occurrences, claiming thousands of victims per year. These situations too often result in a fatal accident. Though nothing can replace such a loss, family members of fatal accident victims are entitled to seek compensation for the untimely and unnecessary passing of their loved ones.
Just last week, one such incident occurred in Atlanta's Baker Hills neighborhood resulting in the death of a 53-year old mother of five. The woman, also a grandmother to 16 children, died early in the morning after being struck by a dark SUV. As she fell onto the sidewalk after being struck head-on, the vehicle continued on without stopping.
Of the nearly 78,000 pedestrians hit by cars each year, 5,000 ultimately perish from the collision. Drivers who are inattentive, disobey traffic laws or drive under the influence violate their duty to pedestrians under Georgia law. When such negligence results in a wrongful death, immediate family members may bring a civil lawsuit to recover damages for their loss.
Fair compensation in wrongful death proceedings may include any medical and funeral costs. The amount of just compensation also depends on the age, earning capacity, health and intelligence of the lost loved one. The circumstances of those left behind are also considered when deciding these amounts, though no sum can truly replace the loss of a family member.
Before compensation can be determined, however, the offending driver must be found and identified. In the case of the Atlanta woman, police are still searching for the hit-and-run driver of a dark-colored SUV with possible front end damage.
Source: Cascade Patch, "Pedestrian Killed in Hit & Run Accident on Bakers Ferry and MLK," Marc Richardson, Feb. 19, 2013