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Driver accused of hit-and-run after exchange student killed

According to police, a 21-year-old foreign exchange student was struck by a vehicle and killed while walking on a North Carolina highway around 11 p.m. on Aug. 25. His body was discovered around 6 a.m. the next day by a newspaper delivery driver. Later that morning, a man claiming to be the responsible driver turned himself in to local authorities when he learned that there had been a hit-and-run.

The driver claimed that he left the scene of the accident because he had thought that he had hit a deer. He allegedly did not know that he had struck a person. Police booked him at Currituck County Jail and charged him with felony hit-and-run on a $20,000 bond.

In cases such as this, the family of a deceased accident victim may wish to file a wrongful death claim against an allegedly at-fault driver. This claim may allow them to recover compensation for any accident-related expenses, such as funeral costs. In order to file a successful claim, regardless of any criminal charges that might be brought against the driver, the victim's family must show that the driver caused the death by failing to act responsibly.

The family may wish to consult with an attorney during this process, as he or she can thoroughly investigate the incident and help demonstrate that the driver showed negligence. This task might present challenges in this case if there were no known eyewitnesses to the accident, such as with a hit-and-run. A delay between the incident and the detention of a suspected driver means that toxicology testing for the presence of alcohol or drugs during the accident will not be accurate. An attorney can help surviving family members explore possible strategies for pursuing a civil lawsuit.

Source: WTKR, "Man accused in deadly hit and run accident claims he thought he hit a deer", Doris Taylor, August 27, 2014

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