Earlier this month, a man was arrested in his Illinois home and charged with the hit-and-run death of a bicyclist he had struck with his vehicle over four years earlier. According to one local Illinois news report, the man struck a bicyclist on August 21, 2011 shortly after midnight. Rather than stop and render assistance, he fled the scene.
Evidently, the bicyclist was riding on the wrong side of the road when he was struck by the defendant. After the victim was found on the side of the road, emergency crews attempted to save his life but were unable to do so. Two hours after the accident, the man was pronounced dead.
The driver initially failed to stop at the scene of the accident, but hours later he called the police station and let them know about his involvement in the accident. The police began an investigation that took two years to complete. In that amount of time, the man had moved from Seminole County to Jacksonville and then to Illinois. It is unclear what took so long to complete the investigation.
Reports indicated that the man was cooperative throughout the process and did not resist authorities. He was arrested on one count of fleeing the scene of an accident involving death. If he is convicted of the offense, the man faces jail time of up to 30 years as well as up to a $10,000 fine.
Civil Lawsuits Versus Criminal Charges
The above-described case against the driver was in a criminal court, and, if convicted, the man would face criminal sanctions. This may include jail time, probation and fines. However, completely independent of these charges, the man may also face a civil lawsuit brought by the family of the man who was killed in the accident.
If the deceased victim’s family does opt for a lawsuit against the driver, they stand to recover a substantial amount of money to compensate them for their loss. In addition, they may be able to recover any money spent on the man’s medical bills prior to his death.
This type of action, called a wrongful death case, is generally brought by the immediate family members of a deceased accident victim. Generally, this would be a mother, father, spouse, or child. However, in some cases other parties may be able to bring a wrongful death lawsuit. To learn more, contact a dedicated Florida personal injury attorney.
Have You Lost a Loved One in a Florida Accident?
If you have recently lost a loved one due to another’s negligence, you may be able to recover financially for your loss. Of course, money is no replacement for the companionship of a passed loved one. However, it can help settle the affairs of the deceased and ensure that future generations are not left paying the medical expenses of their deceased loved one. To learn more about how you may be able to bring a wrongful death lawsuit against a negligent party, contact the Dean Law Firm at 352-387-8700. The skilled attorneys at the Dean Law Firm have many years of experience enforcing the rights of families who have lost loved ones due to the negligence of a third party.
More Blog Posts:
Canadian Motorcyclist Killed in Accident in Florida, Ocala Injury Lawyers Blog, published January 22, 2015.
Florida Police Patrol Car Gets into Accident with SUV, Ocala Injury Lawyers Blog, published December 13, 2014.