Dallas Law Firm Blog

Police Search for Driver Who Killed Pedestrian in Dallas

Police Search for Driver Who Killed Pedestrian in DallasA fatal hit-and-run accident occurred early Sunday, April 5, 2015. A black Dodge Charger hit a pedestrian near Mockingbird Station in Dallas. The 20-year-old man was hit while he was crossing the street in the 5500 block of Mockingbird Lane near Central Expressway. The man died at the scene, but the driver did not stop. The car apparently clipped the pedestrian on the passenger side of the vehicle. The police are still searching for the driver involved in this accident.

Legal Implications of a Hit-and-Run

A hit-and-run is an accident where the person that caused the accident or that was involved in the accident leaves the scene of the accident before law enforcement arrives. In Texas, the offense is also called “leaving the scene of the accident.” Here, where the accident caused death, the police could charge the driver with a third-degree felony, which is punishable with two to ten years in state prison. If the police find this individual, he or she is likely to have to serve jail time for the offense.

In addition to the criminal implications, the driver could also be sued by the victim’s family in civil court in a wrongful death action. In a wrongful death case, the victim’s family must prove that the driver caused the victim’s death (in whole or in part). Then, the victim’s family should also show that they were negatively affected by the death of their loved one. In cases of hit-and-run, it is much easier to prove fault or cause, assuming someone saw the accident. This is most people would assume that the driver left the scene to avoid getting caught because they were at fault.

The victim’s family can then collect damages related to their loss of their loved one. For example, they can ask for medical expenses, funeral expenses, loss wages, and the mental anguish involved in the loss of a loved one. This victim’s family should contact an experienced wrongful death attorney so they can thoroughly consider their legal options.

Driver Responsibilities Following a Car Accident

Drivers should never leave the scene of an accident, especially where that accident causes injury or death. Texas law requires that drivers stop or return immediately to the scene of the accident. They should attempt to render aid, even if that just means calling law enforcement or paramedics. Drivers should also provide their personal information and show their driver’s license if requested. Even where the accident involves property or an unattended vehicle, Texas law requires that the driver leave a note containing their personal information as well.

Even if these steps were not legally required, they would all be helpful to show that the driver was truly sorry for the accident and any damages or injury caused, which would be  relevant in a civil personal injury or wrongful death case.

If you or a loved one has been involved in car accident, speak to an attorney that specializes in personal injury or wrongful death cases related to car accidents as soon as possible. An experienced car accident attorney can help you determine your legal options.