When someone has been injured in a car accident caused by another driver’s negligence, Louisiana law provides that the injured party may be compensated for medical expenses and other damages through a personal injury lawsuit. In a typical such lawsuit, the injured party would file suit against the negligent party, or his or her insurance provider. But what if the other driver fled the scene of the accident? A hit-and-run driver may not be easy to find.

Recently, St. Charles Parish sheriff’s deputies said they had arrested two teenagers in connection with a fatal hit-and-run accident that left another teenager dead. Police said that the Hahnville teenager was declared dead at the scene when they found him in an overturned vehicle in New Orleans late one night in June. It took the authorities a little more than a week to track down the driver who they say was responsible for the fatal crash but who fled the scene. He was charged with negligent homicide and reckless operation of a vehicle. Another teenager who police said was a passenger in the hit-and-run driver’s car, was charged as an accessory to negligent homicide.

Leaving the scene of an injury automotive accident is against the law. The safety of the public demands that hit-and-run drivers are apprehended. The police are under pressure to track down these negligent drivers, especially after a high-profile fatal accident.

In this way, the criminal justice system is complementary to the civil justice system. It’s in the public’s interest to get negligent drivers off the road, and it’s in the interest of the injured or their families to be able to track down the individuals who were responsible for the accident so that they can seek compensation for their damages. The procedures of these two systems of justice can be very different, however. An attorney with experience in personal injury law can help the injured or their families to understand how the law may work in their case.

Source: The New Orleans Advocate, “Two teens arrested in connection with fatal crash of a Hahnville teen-ager last week,” July 7, 2015