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Wrongful death suit possible in Denver hit-and-run

Patricia M. Jarzobski

Denver police have announced an arrest in a recent hit-and-run case that garnered a great deal of attention. Details of the incident have shocked locals and brought renewed attention to the dangers of walking along area roadways. As the case moves forward, it is hoped that drivers will have a heightened awareness of their responsibility to watch for pedestrians on the road, and that pedestrians will make every effort to ensure that they are easily visible to passing cars. It is also possible that a wrongful death suit may eventually be filed in the matter.

The initial investigation into the incident suggests that a 48-year-old man was walking near the intersection of East 17th Avenue and Garfield Street on a recent Sunday evening when he was struck by a passing vehicle. The vehicle did not stop at the scene of the accident. Authorities said the pedestrian suffered multiple severe injuries as a result of the force of the impact and died after being taken to a local hospital.

Sometime later, police received a call stating that the driver who hit the man wanted to turn himself into the authorities. Denver police were able to pick him up and also to locate the vehicle believed to have been involved in the crash. The driver, a 47-year-old man, has now been arrested and detained. He faces charges of vehicular homicide as well as leaving the scene of a fatal accident.

Those who knew the victim in this case, especially perhaps any family he may have, are likely still trying to come to terms with his death. As the criminal trial against the driver moves forward, they may obtain some relief from knowing the criminal system is working to hold someone accountable. However, there are likely significant medical bills stemming from the victim's hospitalization, as well as expenses associated with his funeral and other final arrangements. To find some relief regarding financial matters, the family may want to explore civil court options, such as filing a wrongful death suit, as a means of attempting to be compensated for the losses that resulted from the crash.

Source: KMGH-TV, "Police: Fatal Hit-And-Run Suspect Surrenders," Lance Hernandez and Thomas Hendrick, Aug. 27, 2012

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