Hit-and-run accidents often seem to offer little opportunity to recover damages for injuries caused by the fleeing driver. The identity of the negligent driver is usually unknown to the victim, and police do not always arrive at the scene soon enough to identify the driver. On the other hand, both police and private attorneys have means for finding an absconding driver who may owe significant sums in damages to the victim or to the victim’s family if the victim dies from his injuries.
One such accident occurred on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020 in Waterbury. A pedestrian was attempting to push a loaded shopping cart across Wolcott Street. A car headed northbound on Wolcott struck the pedestrian near the Pep Boys Auto Parts Store. The vehicle did not stop but continued speeding northbound on Wolcott with the victim still on the hood of the car. When the driver decided to turn right on Pritchard Avenue, the pedestrian was thrown from the car. The fleeing vehicle left the scene on Pritchard.
When police arrived, the victim was unconscious and unresponsive at the scene. He was transported to a nearby hospital with life-threatening injuries to his head and leg. The man died at the hospital on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020.
News reports of the accident said that the accident investigation unit of the Waterbury Police Department was continuing to investigate the accident. The runaway driver appears to have violated several serious anti-drinking laws; the police will have a high incentive to identify the driver and make an arrest so that charges can be filed.
The family of the pedestrian has a persuasive claim for damages under Connecticut’s wrongful death statute. Under that law, anyone who was emotionally or financially dependent upon the victim can sue the person whose wrongful act caused the death. Many facts must await the results of a thorough investigation, but many experienced motor vehicle accident law firms have their own investigators or know investigators that are skilled in their craft. Anyone who has lost a loved one in similar circumstances may wish to contact such a firm for an evaluation of the evidence and an estimate of the likelihood of recovering damages from the party at fault.