Two recent Alabama events demonstrate the legal and real-world significance of hit-and-run accidents.
A Baldwin County grand jury will be considering charges against a man who recently killed a pedestrian near Elberta County in a hit-and-run accident. According to state troopers, the pedestrian was pronounced dead at the scene after being struck on U.S. Highway 98.
Another similar accident occurred recently on Highway 280 in Birmingham, where a man hit and killed a pedestrian before leaving the scene of the accident. The man has been arrested and will be charged with leaving the scene of the accident and criminal tampering.
These tragedies ought to serve as a reminder that drivers must remain at the scene of an accident.
Fortunately, injured hit-and-run victims as well as bereaved family members who have lost a loved one to a hit-and-run incident have a number of legal remedies available once the hit-and-run driver is found and caught.
Alabama Hit-and-Run Laws
Deadly hit-and-run accidents cause catastrophic damage to both victims and to the drivers themselves by fleeing the scene of an accident. Under Alabama law, hit-and-run drivers can be convicted of a felony if they leave the scene of an accident that results in injury or death to pedestrian victims.
With the help of witnesses at the scene and helpful tips, law enforcement and private investigators can track down hit-and-run drivers to hold them accountable for their actions. Once they are found, injured victims Baldwin, Mobile and Escambia Counties can begin the process of talking to their experienced Alabama attorney to bring legal claims against the driver.
However, in the two recent hit-and-run cases, the victims were killed by the fleeing drivers. In such cases, there are still legal claims and remedies which may be pursued. If a victim dies as a result of the hit-and-run, the pedestrian’s spouse or other surviving family members may be able to bring legal claims and a lawsuit against the hit-and-run driver.
Legal Claims for Hit-and-Run Victims
Criminal charges will hold a hit-and-run driver accountable for their actions, but these charges alone are often not enough to make an injured party whole. That is why injured victims may also pursue civil charges for injuries which worsened because the driver did not stop to help as required by law.
Injured victims or surviving family members may file personal injury or wrongful death claims to recover damages for the injuries as well as any pain and suffering caused by the accident. The fact that the driver fled the accident may be used during court proceedings to demonstrate the driver’s culpability since an innocent driver would likely not flee.
Finally, it is worth noting that drivers in hit-and-run accidents may not be found. If there are no witnesses present or cameras nearby, it may be next to impossible to locate the driver, but victims should not take this to mean that there are no remedies available to them.
In these cases, it is best to pursue compensation through the injured victim or family’s uninsured motorist coverage.
Anytime you or a loved one is seriously injured or killed in a hit-and-run auto accident, it is critical you talk to an experienced Alabama injury attorney as soon as possible. Noel B. Leonard is a Foley injury lawyer who will fight on your behalf to obtain the maximum possible recovery for injuries, lost wages and any other medical costs arising from your injuries. Contact Noel to discover the full extent of your legal options in pursuing the hit-and-run driver. Attorney Leonard will fight on your behalf to ensure that you receive the legal compensation, damages and recovery costs you deserve as the victim of a hit-and-run. Call 251-943-8638 to schedule a consultation.