Schlachman, Belsky, Weiner & Davey, P.A.

Baltimore Law Blog

When something happens to a person's loved one, it is natural for a Baltimore resident to want to step in immediately and solve the situation. This is not always possible, however, such as with the loss of a loved one after a fatal incident.

In instances where a loved one is killed because of another person's negligence, surviving family members and friends often want immediate answers. Accordingly, it can be frustrating when there are unresolved questions surrounding the incident.

For instance, a woman was recently struck by a pickup truck at a Maryland intersection. Law enforcement is currently in the process of trying to locate witnesses to the incident, as well as the driver of the truck. Officials believed the crash should have left damage to the truck's front end, and they are asking the public for help if they know anything about the details of the accident that might lead them to the driver.

Typically, after a fatal incident, law enforcement may be involved to investigate whether there was any criminal wrongdoing. This is separate and apart from what individuals might discover in a wrongful death action, however, as parties to a civil lawsuit can also conduct their own investigation that can be used in the lawsuit.

In some respects, the investigation done by law enforcement is similar to that done by an individual in a civil lawsuit. For instance, both investigations attempt to identify the who, what, where, when, and why of the incident. Both investigations also look to eyewitness and other evidence to answer these questions. The goals are certainly different, however, as a civil lawsuit can use this information to obtain an award of compensation against the liable party.

Source: CBS Baltimore, "Baltimore Police searching for clues in fatal hit-and-run," Mike Schuh, April 3, 2015

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