The New Year has gotten off to a tragic start for the families of two different pedestrians in Honolulu, both of who were struck and killed in separate accidents only three days into the New Year. One incident may have been an unfortunate accident, while the other turned into a hit and run.
A hard day for pedestrians
The first accident happened around 7:30 a.m. when a 94-year-old man was hit and killed crossing the road. He was in a designated crosswalk, but this did not prevent a driver from running a red light and hitting him. The driver then fled the scene, leaving police to search for him in what they think is a green sedan.
The second tragedy occurred a little after noon when a 68-year-old woman was crossing the street, again in a designated crosswalk. An elderly driver making a left turn struck the pedestrian, killing her. Police indicated that they do not suspect that alcohol or excessive speed were cause for the second deadly accident.
The difference between a crime and an accident
As terrible as these two deaths likely are for the families of the victims, each situation is dramatically different in the eyes of the law. It is impossible to say exactly what happened with the information currently available, but the elderly driver that hit the second victim may have failed to notice the pedestrian in the walkway. It will ultimately require investigation to determine how much fault she bears in the accident. However, she did not flee the scene.
The person driving the car in the earlier tragedy left the pedestrian for dead, automatically turning what could have been considered an accident into a crime. There is no way to tell if he could have helped the man or not, or if calling emergency crews would have done any good. The possibility exists, though, making this particular driver a criminal in the eyes of the law.
How these accidents relate to Wrongful Death
The families of these two pedestrians will never have their loved ones back. However, they may have legal options for pursuing compensation for their loss.
When a person or organization acts negligently and it leads to the death of a loved one, you may be able to proceed with a wrongful death case. This can help cover the costs associated with his or her loss.
The police with need to find the hit and run driver for the family to pursue their own case in addition to the criminal charges the driver will face, but it is certainly an option they should consider it if the driver is located.
If your loved one was taken from you due to another’s negligence, you may be able to obtain compensation for your loss. Contact Davis Levin Livingston to learn more.