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Family of hit-and-run victim files wrongful death suit against drivers

The family of a 54-year old man who was killed in a hit-and-run accident involving two separate drivers in Trenton, New Jersey, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the two drivers responsible.

The wrongful death suit stems from an October 2011 incident where the man was first struck by a car driven by a 19-year old Rider University student while crossing the street. The lawsuit alleges that the student, who turned herself in five days after the accident, was under the influence of alcohol at the time. A car driven by a 52-year old woman struck the victim next. The lawsuit alleges that the drivers were negligent in not seeing the victim, and that the state and local authorities and the transit system were negligent in maintaining an unsafe bus stop, due to the alleged lack of a safe crossing intersection or crossing security measures. The two drivers face criminal charges of death by auto and leaving the scene of the accident. The victim was allegedly going to an apartment complex across the street to eat dinner with his brother when the accident occurred.

Wrongful deaths are those that are caused by the negligence of another. A negligent act occurs when one person or institution breaches a duty of ordinary care towards another person that results in some harm to the other person. In this particular case, it is alleged that the drivers breached a duty of care to the victim by not taking the precaution of looking for pedestrians in the crosswalk. In this way, they were negligent towards him, and caused his death by their breach of the duty of ordinary care.

A wrongful death lawsuit must be filed by a representative appointed by the family. Typically, this person is either a family member or an attorney filing the lawsuit for the family. This is so that the deceased individual has somebody to represent his or her interests before the court.

Anyone who has lost a family member to a wrongful death is entitled to appropriate monetary compensation. The compensation, ordered to be paid by the defendant to the injured party, often includes reimbursement for medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering. The family members may also recover monetary damages for the pain and suffering caused by the wrongful death.

Source: NJ.com, "Family of Trenton man killed in hit-and-run files wrongful death lawsuit," Jenna Pizzi, March 8, 2013.

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