On Thursday, February 16th, 2023, a chase happened in Northridge, CA, close to White Oak Avenue and Roscoe Boulevard. Police were trying to stop two men in a Toyota RAV4. These two men were wanted for armed robbery in another San Fernando Valley area. However, when the cops approached the two men, they began speeding away. The vehicle got some distance away, but then ran a red light at Roscoe and Lindley Avenue. When they ran this red light, they ended up hitting a green Honda Civic, and upon doing so, they killed the driver.
Following the crash, both suspects ran away, but the cops managed to take one driver into custody while the other suspect successfully fled the scene. The driver of the RAV4 will likely face a murder charge, and the police found a rifle in the vehicle. When asked why the police decided to go after the suspects, the cops explained that they try to weigh risks against the gains.
Unfortunately, cases like these happen all the time, where a car will flee a scene when being pursued by the police only to harm an innocent person in the process. However, more common reasons why car crashes occur is due to driving while under the influence, disobeying the traffic rules, aggressive driving, and distracted driving.
While the driver of this particular crash is likely to face murder charges, they can also be held to compensate the family of the victim. Wrongful death cases occur when someone dies due to another person’s negligence or even maliciousness. While nothing can bring someone back, a family being compensated for a wrongful death charge can help pay for funeral costs and give money for pain and suffering. If the person who died also contributed to the family’s income, then their surviving family members may also receive payment for lost wages.
In a wrongful death or personal injury case, three types of compensation are available. The first two are economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages carry a specific monetary amount, such as the case of funeral costs. Non-economic damages, however, cover subjective factors like pain and suffering or emotional distress.
Lastly, there are punitive damages, and unlike the prior two forms of compensation, punitive damages are meant to punish the offending party. To qualify for punitive damages, there needs to be clear evidence that the offending party exhibited extreme negligence or malicious intent.
A driver fleeing an active pursuit only to kill an innocent person would have a great chance of qualifying for punitive damages. However, in cases like these, sometimes families should pursue a lawyer to ensure a more fair settlement. No family should have to lose a family member due to another person’s extreme negligence. Again, nothing can bring a person back, but working with a Northridge, CA personal injury lawyer can help families through the grieving process, and our compassionate lawyers at Barry P. Goldberg when you call us today.