It can be hard enough to recover damages for a car accident when you have the at-fault party in front of you – but what about situations in which the at-fault party raced away from the scene? One case in Los Angeles tested this very question. It was 9 PM on Christmas in South Los Angeles when a 50-year-old woman was hit by a car, which immediately sped away. The woman was taken to the hospital but subsequently died as a result of her injuries.
Her family is certainly grieving the loss of her on such a special night. They’re also likely wishing they could hold the at-fault party responsible. Can they? Read on to learn more and then contact Law Offices of Michael A. Kahn at (310) 209-1600 if you have been involved in a car accident yourself.
Learn about the statute of limitations
If the family is interested in filing a wrongful death case then they have limited time to do so. In California, the statute of limitations on these types of cases is two consecutive years after the date of the accident. As a result, the family in this situation has until December 25th, 2019 to file their claim. However, the fact that the driver hasn’t been identified may affect the statute of limitations in this case.
At this point, the police have a description of the vehicle and a partial license plate. They can look for the drive but what happens if they don’t find said driver within two years? Does the statute of limitations expire for this family? Not necessarily. There are some situations in which the statute can be paused. This is known as tolling, and reasons for it may include a victim not discovering the injury for more than two years, or a minor who suffered an injury.
Tolling may also apply with the at-fault party has not been found or is otherwise unavailable. In this particular case, the statute of limitations can be suspended until the driver is found. When that driver is located, then the family can pursue their case – even if the police don’t find the driver until after the original two years is up.
Potential compensation this family may be due
In the event the at-fault driver is found and the family wins their wrongful death case, they can be awarded money to help them with the loss. This may include the cost of medical expenses the woman incurred after the accident and before her death, her family’s lost financial support, the cost of the funeral and / or burial (including lodging and travel), pain and suffering, emotional distress, and more.
If you believe you have a wrongful death case, or another type of personal injury case, then it’s a great time to contact Law Offices of Michael A. Kahn at (310) 209-1600. We will use our many years of experience to carefully consider your case and ensure you have the best chance possible of the best possible outcome.