On Jan. 28 about 7 p.m., a 26-year-old man was killed in the 7000 block of Southeast Foster Road in Portland after he was struck by a car as he attempted to cross the street. Police reports suggest the man was not in a crosswalk at the time of the pedestrian accident, though few other details of the collision were immediately available. Rushed to a local hospital after the incident, the victim later died from his injuries.
Police have been unable to locate the driver of the vehicle that struck the man. They continue their search as well as their investigation of the crash. Once found, the driver of the vehicle could face serious criminal charges as well as potential liability for the wrongful death of the pedestrian.
Like other personal injury claims, a lawsuit for wrongful death brought by the family could include payments for medical expenses and lost wages, as well as loss of companionship and other compensatory claims. In cases where the facts establish that a negligent party acted recklessly or even intentionally, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the wrongdoer for his or her conduct. The police accident investigation will likely address exactly what occurred and to what extent the parties involved acted negligently in a manner that directly contributed or caused the collision.
In this matter, liability may be influenced by the report that the driver left the scene of the accident. The victim's family may understandably want those responsible held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. While nothing can truly account for the tragic loss of life, holding a negligent party responsible may offer some sense of justice to the family of the young man who died in this crash.
Source: The Columbian, "Police identify Vancouver man killed in Portland hit-and-run," Paul Suarez, Jan. 30, 2012