Crossing the street in a crosswalk is the safe and responsible thing to do when traveling on foot. Unfortunately, as one California family found out, even being in a crosswalk does not always keep someone safe from harm, and now that family is seeking justice.
The family of a man who was hit by a police car back in August has recently sued the City of Oakland for wrongful death. The victim, 58, was reportedly crossing the street in a crosswalk when the police car hit him. The accident took place around 1:30 in the afternoon. Unfortunately, the man succumbed to his injuries and passed away several days later. He left behind a wife and children. There was only one officer in the vehicle at the time of the accident, and he was in the process of responding to a call when he hit the man. The amount of damages being sought is not yet known.
Deadly auto versus pedestrian accidents such as these are especially tragic when they could have been prevented. Even when in the call of duty, officers, like drivers everywhere, are tasked with operating their motor vehicles safely. This means being aware of one's surroundings, not only noting the presence and actions of other drivers but also noticing pedestrians and other bystanders, especially in areas such as crosswalks. Like the family in this situation, when a pedestrian dies after being hit by a car, the pedestrian's survivors may want to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit.
In a wrongful death lawsuit, the victim's loved ones claim that the victim died due to the negligent actions of another party and that the victim's death caused them financial suffering. Damages sought in wrongful death lawsuits may include compensation for medical expenses if the victim was hospitalized prior to passing away, funeral costs, loss of consortium and loss of support among others. While no amount of money can relieve a family of the pain they suffer after the loss of a loved one, it can at least help them cope with some of the financial stress they are dealing with at such times.
Source: Piedmont Patch, "Family of Man Fatally Struck by Police Cruiser Files Wrongful Death Complaint Against City," Autumn Johnson, Jan. 30, 2015