According to investigators, a woman was killed by a hit-and-run driver in Queens on the night of Sept. 13. At approximately 7 p.m., the woman was walking near the intersection of 117th Street and 97th Avenue in Richmond Hill. She was walking among some parked cars when she was hit by a grey Toyota Camry that had been traveling north on 117th Street.
The driver fled the accident scene but was apprehended by police officers. The driver was charged with DWI, leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death, criminally negligent homicide and vehicular manslaughter.
A hit-and-run accident may be considered an example of extreme recklessness or carelessness on the part of a driver. A personal injury attorney might review a hit-and-run accident case and suggest seeking punitive damages. In some instances, it is possible to collect damages that exceed compensation for lost wages, medical expenses and funeral costs. The intention is to punish reckless and negligent drivers and also to send a message to other drivers.
If the family wishes to seek only compensation for accident-related expenses, the attorney may negotiate for a settlement outside of court. On the other hand, if the family decides to seek punitive damages, the attorney might request a jury trial in civil court. If the at-fault driver was charged or convicted in criminal court, it may help support the claim of recklessness. The attorney may use police reports, photos and evidence to build a convincing argument on behalf of the family. If the judge and jury are persuaded by the argument and evidence presented, they may find in favor of the plaintiffs and award punitive damages.
Source: ABC , "Queens hit and run leaves woman dead", Matt Kozar, September 14, 2013