This is often the biggest question in a car accident in which the only other person involved flees the scene. In some cases, there is a chance that if the driver had stopped to render aid, the victim could have survived. This question is at the center of a hit-and-run car accident that occurred here in Louisiana in which a bicyclist died.
On July 7, 2014, a bicycle rider was forcibly knocked off the roadway when a car struck him. The driver believed to be responsible did not remain at the scene to determine whether the rider was alive and in need of medical attention. Prosecutors claim to have evidence that indicates that the victim was only knocked unconscious.
Unfortunately, he landed in a ditch filled with water. There is reason to believe that if he had been conscious, he would be alive today. This is due in large part to the fact that the Lafayette Parish Coroner's Office determined that the official cause of death was drowning, and that he had not suffered any life-threatening injuries from the crash. If the driver had stopped and pulled the man out of the ditch, the 30-year-old bicycle rider's life would most likely have been spared.
The victim's family retains the right to file a wrongful death claim against the accused driver as well. The outcome of the criminal proceedings, along with the evidence gathered by Louisiana prosecutors, could be used to prove negligence in a civil court lawsuit. Successfully establishing that the actions -- or inaction -- of the driver caused or contributed to the death of their loved one could result in an award of damages that may help with the financial burdens arising out of this tragic car accident.
Source: theadvertiser.com, "Lon Lomas hit-and-run case postponed to June", Seth Dickerson, Jan. 20, 2016