Can Victims of Hit-and-Runs Sue for Their Injuries?

Ventura County was the scene of a truck accident last week, after a driver left his pickup truck on a railroad track and ran for safety. According to police, the driver had attempted to move his very large F-450 pickup truck over the rails, causing it to become stuck. Repeated attempts to move the truck failed, and the driver eventually tried to push the multi-ton vehicle out of the way.

Unfortunately, his efforts were not fast enough, and an oncoming passenger train slammed into the abandoned truck, killing one person and injuring dozens of others. The train’s conductor died from his injuries and four people are in critical condition.

Police later found and arrested the truck driver on the suspicion of a felony hit-and-run and are now investigating whether drugs or alcohol were involved. An investigation uncovered evidence that the driver had a prior drunk driving conviction and had received citations for moving violations in Arizona.

According to police, the truck driver had attempted and failed to call for help in time due to poor fluency in English.

Having negative marks on a record will make it difficult to secure employment driving for a company, especially in cases where someone has a prior history of drunk driving. If the company responsible for employing the driver knew of his previous violations, it can be argued that its negligence put other people in danger.

What Legal Options are Available to Auto Accident Victims?

Although no criminal charges have been filed yet, passengers who were injured by the accident could file a civil lawsuit and possibly be awarded damages depending on the circumstances, even if police determine it was not a hit-and-run. While a hit-and-run is a criminal act, the victims of this accident could still pursue civil litigation against both the driver and company who employed him.

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Bonnici Law Group, APCSan Diego Injury Attorney

Did You Know? Railroad crossings have signs and warnings for good reason – in 2013, almost 249 people died and another 954 were injured in railroad crossing accidents.