Unexpectedly losing a loved one is a devastating experience that no family in West Virginia should have to go through. Unfortunately, all it takes is just one negligent driver to cause a fatal accident. In these situations, it sometimes makes sense for family members to pursue wrongful death claims on behalf of their lost loved ones.
Police in a neighboring state spotted an SUV with severe damage and initiated a traffic stop. Before the driver of the SUV pulled over he was apparently having trouble staying within his own lane. Attending officers said that the 45-year-old claimed he had been sideswiped by another vehicle during a hit-and-run accident in West Virginia. However, the driver apparently seemed confused about the exact nature and place of the collision and appeared intoxicated.
Authorities later discovered that the driver of the SUV had indeed been involved in a hit-and-run accident, only that he was the man suspected of leaving the scene of the accident. A tractor-trailer driver had exited his vehicle on Route 340 and was checking something on the vehicle when he was hit by the SUV. Witnesses told police that the driver briefly stopped before quickly driving off without calling for help. The victim was transported to an area hospital for treatment, where he was later pronounced dead.
Families can file wrongful death suits even if the driver in question is not criminally charged or under police investigation. However, information gathered by police during criminal investigations is often helpful for demonstrating negligence. Any resulting compensation from successful claims can generally be used for related damages, such as unexpected funeral expenses and more.