Fatal auto accidents can lead to criminal charges and civil claims against negligent drivers. While the criminal conviction of a reckless driver may bring some measure of solace to a grieving family, often a claim of wrongful death is necessary for the family to receive compensation for medical costs, burial expenses, family suffering and additional monetary and punitive damages.
A police investigation can certainly bolster a wrongful death claim, but to maximize the compensation for the plaintiff, it is generally necessary for a personal injury attorney to gather additional evidence and present it in such a way as to show that the defendant's negligence or recklessness was the actual cause of the death.
A criminal case is currently underway in connection with a fatal hit-and-run accident in Miami Gardens. Police say that a man with a prior traffic death conviction on his record was speeding when his vehicle ran a red light and struck a car driven by a 37-year-old woman. The collision ejected the woman from her vehicle, and she was hit by another car as she lay on the road.
The man who allegedly ran the red light is believed to have fled the scene on foot, and he eventually turned himself in to police.
The badly injured woman was taken to a hospital, but she died some days after the crash.
You can read more about the accident here.
Unfortunately, in some cases, the punishment handed down to a wrongdoer in criminal court seems lenient to the family grieving the loss of a loved one, and a wrongful death claim is the surest way of achieving justice. Any family trying to cope with the loss of a loved one under such circumstances can speak with a wrongful death attorney about the available legal options.