A 56-year-old Oakland man was crossing the road at 24th Street and Broadway around 10:39 p.m. on February 22nd when he was struck by an unknown driver. The vehicle failed to stop and, to date, has not been located. The man was transported to Highland Hospital where he later died. Since the investigation is still ongoing, it is unknown at this time whether drugs or alcohol were involved.
A hit-and-run accident in the state of California involving injury or death is considered a felony offense. A prosecutor may impose a prison sentence of 16 to 36 months, plus fines and victim restitution. Where a death has occurred, an additional five years may be added to a prison sentence.
In addition to criminal charges brought against a Defendant by the state, the family of a lost loved one may opt to file a wrongful death lawsuit. If successful, this type of claim can result in the recovery of compensation for lost income, medical expenses, burial and funeral expenses, as well as compensation for emotional distress and grief. In addition, winning a wrongful death case can help ensure that the negligent driver is held accountable for his actions and will hopefully think twice before taking actions that cause another family to lose a loved one.
No family can ever be prepared to deal with the unexpected death of a loved one, not only emotionally, but also financially. Once a suspect is identified and charged in the case mentioned above, pursuing a wrongful death claim may help any surviving family members pick up the pieces and allow them to move forward without undue financial stress.