Pedestrian accidents are common, unfortunately. In more severe cases, a pedestrian is killed when hit by a car. The accident can be the result of the driver not paying attention, driving under the influence, or any number of reasons. The dependents left behind can be compensated for the damages due to the loss of a loved one if the driver is found liable for wrongful death. If you are a dependent of a person killed in a pedestrian accident, you will need to know the following:
Filing a Wrongful Death Case
The dependents of the deceased can file a wrongful death lawsuit to help get some compensation for the death. A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil matter filed against the defendant for financial compensation. There are no criminal penalties involved in a wrongful death lawsuit. Criminal charges are dealt with in a different manner.
The defendant is the person who was driving the car that caused the accident and resulting death. He or she will be found either liable or not liable for the accident and may or may not have to pay damages. If the driver is liable, he or she has to pay the amount of money determined by the judge in the case.
The Burden of Proof
If a pedestrian is killed by a driver, the family filing the lawsuit has the burden of proof. They have to provide evidence of the driver's negligence and irresponsibility, resulting in the death of their family member.
For instance, if the driver was under the influence, the family could get the burden of proof from the police report. The police report will note the driver was under the influence of a substance which ultimately caused him or her to be impaired and ultimately cause the accident. Another example is a witness who could testify to the driver texting on the phone and not paying attention to the road, leading to the accident. As long as the witnesses is deemed credible by the judge in the case, a solid witness statement or testimony will serve as burden of proof in your wrongful death lawsuit.
If your loved one was killed in a pedestrian-driver accident, you need to contact a pedestrian motor vehicle accident lawyer service right away if you intend to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Keep in mind you can still file criminal charges against the defendant at the same time as wrongful death.