If a car hits and kills a pedestrian, there are three possibilities for the cause:
- A person purposefully uses a car to kill another person. – This is considered murder, since it was done on purpose.
- It’s an accident, but still entirely the driver’s fault for negligent or illegal behavior. – This is called vehicular manslaughter or vehicular homicide. A common example would be drunk driving cases. It can often lead to jail time, depending on the details accident.
- And then there are times when the driver does absolutely nothing wrong intentionally, but hits someone entirely by accident.
While incredibly tragic, these crashes do happen. Say a person walks across a dark street in the middle of the night and the driver doesn’t see them in time to stop. The pedestrian might be drunk or on drugs, making the accident even less the fault of the driver.
Memphis has a particular problem with this last kind of crash. We have one of the highest pedestrian death rates in America, and a lot of times these crashes happen entirely by accident.
In these cases, a court might not find the driver guilty of vehicular manslaughter. But the crash might still be partially that person’s fault for not seeing the pedestrian, driving while distracted, etc.
For all three examples above, the victim’s family also has the option of a civil lawsuit, like a wrongful death suit.
A wrongful death suit can sometimes help the family cover the cost of their loved one’s death and help make it a little easier to recover from the tragedy. It’s also a way to get justice when the traditional route doesn’t lead to a conviction.
These are very complicated cases, so if your loved one was hit by a car, you should contact our Memphis car accident lawyers today to discuss the situation. There’s no charge at all for the conversation, we promise; and it just might help you figure out the best steps to take next.
Contact us online or give us a call at 901-327-1212.