Hit-and-Run Fatalities Highlight Uninsured Motorist Problems

Virginia State Police on January 21, 2015, alerted the public that information about both the victim and the at-fault driver involved in a fatal pedestrian accident was needed. The crash that claimed the life of a man early in the morning of the previous day occurred on Route 29 outside of the Greene County, VA, town of Ruckersville. The deceased person appears to have been walking south into the face of northbound traffic on the rural highway. Law enforcement officials lacked identification for the person killed and had almost no information about the vehicle that struck him beyond physical evidence indicating it is a passenger car.



That same morning, a simiar mystery created by a deadly hit-and-run crash nearly unfolded in Miami Beach, Florida (FL). According to the Miami Herald, two bike riders got struck by a driver who initially fled the scene on Crandon Boulevard. One bicyclist died before he could be transported to a hospital, and the other biker sustained serious injuries. Police, the victims and the families of the killed and injured people got spared long -- perhaps lifelong -- anguish when the at-fault driver returned to take responsibility.

The Florida driver admitted to being drunk and panicking. He now faces multiple criminal charges. Significantly, he can also be held liable for compensating the dead man's family for causing a wrongful death and for providing insurance payments to cover the injured person's medical bills and other accident-related expenses. The DUI evidence might also be invoked to levy punitive damages, which represent cash payments for harm done while acting with reckless disregard for another person's life and health.

Currently, the fatal pedestrian accident in central Virginia offers no such opportunities for legal and civil closure. With no one to hold to account, the best family members of the deceased victim can expect would be filing claims under the uninsured motorist provisions of his or another relevant auto insurance policy. Pursuing such claims often takes much longer and meet with extra resistance from insurance companies.

Anyone who knows the name of the man killed in Virginia, or the identity of the person behind the wheel of the car that hit him, has been asked to call (434) 352-7128 or #77 on a cell phone. Sharing such information could bring much needed peace of mind and justice to the victim's family.


Richard N. Shapiro
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Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Lawyer Serving Va Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake & all of Virginia
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