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Negligent driver causes hit-and-run death

Deadly car accidents occur on Tennessee roadways far too frequently. Yet, another type of fatal accident is often overlooked: the hit-and-run car accident involving a pedestrian. Pedestrians, because they have no safety features surrounding them, are prone to serious injury and death when struck by a vehicle. A recent accident in Memphis shows just how tragic these incidences can be, and Knoxville residents should be aware they can happen anywhere.

In Memphis, police responded to an accident to find a pedestrian face down on the ground. Sadly, the man was dead at the scene. The driver who had struck the victim was nowhere to be found and police are still searching for the driver. The loss of a loved one in an accident like this can tear a family apart and leave them with financial bills and emotional scars that serve as unwanted reminders of the tragedy that has hit them.

Fortunately, surviving family members of a deceased hit-and-run victim can take legal action against the negligent driver. To succeed on a wrongful death claim a surviving family member must prove that the defendant was negligent and that negligence caused the victim's death. In a hit-and-run accident where the driver failed to yield or swerved onto the sidewalk, negligence is likely to be found.

Once successful, a surviving family member can obtain compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering felt by the deceased before passing, funeral expenses, and lost wages. These recoveries enable families torn apart by the negligence of another to focus on moving past the accident and remembering their loved one.

In addition, a wrongful death suit sends a message to other errant drivers that negligence will not be tolerated. Perhaps then Tennessee roads will be made a little safer.

Source: WREG News Channel 3, "Identity of Hit-and-Run Victim Unknown," Daniel Hight, Jan. 24, 2013

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