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Families deserve answers in hit-and-run car accidents

When a loved one dies unexpectedly, surviving family members deserve to know what happened and have the responsible party identified. In hit-and-run car accidents, families are denied these answers -- at least for a time. Law enforcement officers here in New Jersey and elsewhere do what they can to find the party or parties believed responsible in order to help provide families with answers, some peace and justice.

This is what one family hopes for after losing one of its members. The 58-year-old New Jersey mother of three was walking her dog on Nov. 7 when a car ran her down in a parking lot and left her for dead. When the woman's dog showed up at home alone, family members went looking for her. By the time they got to her, she was dead.

Police report that they continue to search for the vehicle and driver responsible. However, the family does not want to wait any longer. They decided to offer a reward for information that leads to the driver. They further made a plea directly to the driver to come forward. At this time, it is not known whether their pleas were answered.

Once the driver police believe to be responsible is located, the family could file a wrongful death claim against him or her. As is the case in other car accidents, surviving family members need to establish that the death of their loved one was due to the negligence of that driver. If successful, the court could award damages to help ease the financial losses incurred by the family, and perhaps provide them with some peace and closure as well.

Source: NBC Philadelphia, "Family of Mother of 3 Left Dead in New Jersey Parking Lot Make Emotional Plea to Hit-and-Run Driver", Dec. 29, 2016

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