Hit and run accident has personal injury elements

A man from Haddon Township is being held by police after an accident killed a pedestrian who was trying to cross a busy road. The accident occurred on Black Horse Pike Sunday evening in Camden County. Authorities reported to NJ.com that the driver is being held pending bail being posted. He is charged with leaving the scene of a fatal accident, causing death while driving on a suspended license, and other violations.

While Camden County authorities have gathered enough information to prosecute the case, an investigation is still ongoing.

Criminal indictments in hit-and-run accidents are important from a personal injury perspective. They create a prima facie (first glance) case that an offending driver did not use reasonable care in operating his or her vehicle, or in looking out for potential hazards. For example, evidence of alcohol use by the driver suggests that the driver’s cognitive abilities were impaired to the point that they would not seeing a pedestrian crossing the road in the same way a sober driver would.

Of course, there are other facts that could be drawn upon that can be used to infer negligence. Since the accident occurred at dusk, it would be helpful to know whether the car’s headlights were on. Also, there may be a question about whether the car’s brakes in good working order. Further, the driver’s driving record may include information that suggesting that he habitually disobeyed traffic laws.

All of these are questions that an experienced personal injury lawyer would attempt to answer in developing a case.

Source: KTVU.com, Man charged in fatal hit and run in Southern NJ March 12, 2013

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